Sonnet Vi: Is It To Love
Is it to love, to fix the tender gaze,
To hide the timid blush, and steal away;
To shun the busy world, and waste the day
In some rude mountain's solitary maze?
Is it to chant one name in ceaseless lays,
To hear no words that other tongues can say,
To watch the pale moon's melancholy ray,
To chide in fondness, and in folly praise?
Is it to pour th' involuntary sigh,
To dream of bliss, and wake new pangs to prove;
To talk, in fancy, with the speaking eye,
Then start with jealousy, and wildly rove;
Is it to loathe the light, and wish to die?
For these I feel,--and feel that they are Love.
Sonnet V: O! How Can Love
O! How can LOVE exulting Reason queil!
How fades each nobler passion from his gaze!
E'en Fame, that cherishes the Poet's lays,
That fame, ill-fated Sappho lov'd so well.
Lost is the wretch, who in his fatal spell
Wastes the short Summer of delicious days,
And from the tranquil path of wisdom strays,
In passion's thorny wild, forlorn to dwell.
O ye! who in that sacred Temple smile
Where holy Innocence resides enshrin'd;
Who fear not sorrow, and who know not guile,
Each thought compos'd, and ev'ry wish resign'd;
Tempt not the path where pleasure's flow'ry wile
In sweet, but pois'nous fetters, holds the mind.
Sonnet Xviii: Why Art Thou Chang'D?
Why art thou chang'd? O Phaon! tell me why?
Love flies reproach, when passion feels decay;
Or, I would paint the raptures of that day,
When, in sweet converse, mingling sigh with sigh,
I mark'd the graceful languor of thine eye
As on a shady bank entranc'd we lay:
O! Eyes! whose beamy radiance stole away
As stars fade trembling from the burning sky!
Why art thou chang'd? dear source of all my woes!
Though dark my bosom's tint, through ev'ry vein
A ruby tide of purest lustre flows,
Warm'd by thy love, or chill'd by thy disdain;
And yet no bliss this sensate Being knows;
Ah! why is rapture so allied to pain?
Sonnet I: Favour'D By Heav'N
Favour'd by Heav'n are those, ordain'd to taste
The bliss supreme that kindles fancy's fire;
Whose magic fingers sweep the muses' lyre,
In varying cadence, eloquently chaste!
Well may the mind, with tuneful numbers grac'd,
To Fame's immortal attributes aspire,
Above the treach'rous spells of low desire,
That wound the sense, by vulgar joys debas'd.
For thou, blest POESY! with godlike pow'rs
To calm the miseries of man wert giv'n;
When passion rends, and hopeless love devours,
By mem'ry goaded, and by frenzy driv'n,
'Tis thine to guide him 'midst Elysian bow'rs,
And shew his fainting soul,--a glimpse of Heav'n.
Sonnet Xvii: Love Steals Unheeded
Love steals unheeded o'er the tranquil mind,
As Summer breezes fan the sleeping main,
Slow through each fibre creeps the subtle pain,
'Till closely round the yielding bosom twin'd.
Vain is the hope the magic to unbind,
The potent mischief riots in the brain,
Grasps ev'ry thought, and burns in ev'ry vein,
'Till in the heart the Tyrant lives enshrin'd.
Oh! Victor strong! bending the vanquish'd frame;
Sweet is the thraldom that thou bid'st us prove!
And sacred is the tear thy victims claim,
For blest are those whom sighs of sorrow move!
Then nymphs beware how ye profane my name,
Nor blame my weakness, till like me ye love!
Sonnet Xxvii: Oh! Ye Bright Stars
Oh! ye bright Stars! that on the Ebon fields
Of Heav'n's empire, trembling seems to stand;
'Till rosy morn unlocks her portal bland,
Where the proud Sun his fiery banner wields!
To flames, less fierce than mine, your lustre yields,
And pow'rs more strong my countless tears command;
Love strikes the feeling heart with ruthless hand,
And only spares the breast which dullness shields!
Since, then, capricious nature but bestows
The fine affections of the soul, to prove
A keener sense of desolating woes,
Far, far from me the empty boast remove;
If bliss from coldness, pain from passion flows,
Ah! who would wish to feel, or learn to love?
Sonnet Viii: Why, Through Each Aching Vein
Why, through each aching vein, with lazy pace
Thus steals the languid fountain of my heart,
While, from its source, each wild convulsive start
Tears the scorch'd roses from my burning face?
In vain, O Lesbian Vales! your charms I trace;
Vain is the poet's theme, the sculptor's art;
No more the Lyre its magic can impart,
Though wak'd to sound, with more than mortal grace!
Go, tuneful maids, go bid my Phaon prove
That passion mocks the empty boast of fame;
Tell him no joys are sweet, but joys of love,
Melting the soul, and thrilling all the frame!
Oh! may th'ecstatic thought in bosom move,
And sighs of rapture, fan the blush of shame!
Sonnet -- The Tear
AH! LUST'ROUS GEM, bright emblem of the Heart,
That nobly scorns a borrow'd ray to share,
Whose gentle pow'r can break the spells of care,
And sooth, with lenient balm, the keenest smart.
Whether from holy FRIENDSHIP'S vow profan'd,
Or the dire frenzy of unpitied LOVE;
Whether from cherish'd passion unrestrain'd,
Or the worst pang the jealous mind can prove.
Yet, if sad mem'ry ling'ring o'er past woe,
Calls THEE, soft trembler, from thy crystal throne,
And sternly bids thy pearly incence flow,
E'en when the treach'rous phantom, HOPE, is flown;
How fickle are the gifts thy rays impart,
At once the BALM and POISON OF THE HEART.
"Yes, LAURA, yes, pure as the virgin snow's
"That on the bosom of the whirlwind move,,
"For thee my faithful endless passion glows."
- LEONARDO TO LAURA.
COLD blows the wind upon the mountain's brow;
In murmuring cadence wave the leafless woods;
The feath'ry tribe mope on the frozen bough,
And icy fetters hold the silent floods;
But endless spring the POET'S breast shall prove,
Whose GENIUS kindles at the torch of LOVE.
For HIM, unfading, blooms the fertile mind,
The current of the heart for ever flows;
Fearless His bosom braves the wintry wind,
While thro' each nerve, eternal summer glows;
In vain would chilling apathy controul,
The lambent fire that warms the lib'ral soul!
To me the limped brook, the painted mead,
The crimson dawn, the twilight's purple close;
The mirthful dance, the shepherd's tuneful reed,
The musky fragrance of the opening rose;
To me, alas! all pleasures senseless prove,
Save the sweet converse of the FRIEND I love.
WHEN fragrant gales and summer show'rs
Call'd forth the sweetly scented flow'rs;
When ripen'd sheaves of golden grain,
Strew'd their rich treasures o'er the plain;
When the full grape did nectar yield,
In tepid drops of purple hue;
When the thick grove, and thirsty field,
Drank the soft show'r and bloom'd a-new;
O then my joyful heart did say,
"Sure this is Nature's Holy-day!"
But when the yellow leaf did fade,
And every gentle flow'r decay'd;
When whistling winds, and drenching rain,
Swept with rude force the naked plain;
When o'er the desolated scene,
I saw the drifted snow descend;
And sadness darken'd all the green,
And Nature's triumphs seem'd to end;
O! then, my mourning heart did say,
"Thus Youth shall vanish, Life decay."
When Beauty blooms, and Fortune smiles,
And wealth the easy breast beguiles;
When pleasure from her downy wings,
Her soft bewitching incense flings;
THEN, Friends look kindand round the heart
The brightest flames of passion move,
False Flatt'ry's soothing strains impart
The warmest Friendshipfondest Love;
But when capricious FORTUNE flies,
Then FRIENDSHIP fades;and PASSION dies.
Stanzas To Love
TELL ME, LOVE, when I rove o'er some far distant plain,
Shall I cherish the passion that dwells in my breast?
Or will ABSENCE subdue the keen rigours of pain,
And the swift wing of TIME bring the balsam of rest?
Shall the image of HIM I was born to adore,
Inshrin'd in my bosom my idol still prove?
Or seduced by caprice shall fine feeling no more,
With the incense of TRUTH gem the altar of LOVE?
When I view the deep tint of the dew-dropping Rose,
Where the bee sits enamour'd its nectar to sip;
Then, ah say, will not memory fondly disclose
The softer vermilion that glow'd on HIS lip?
Will the SUN when he rolls in his chariot of fire,
So dazzle my mind with the glare of his rays,
That my senses one moment shall cease to admire
The more perfect refulgence that beam'd in HIS lays?
When the shadows of twilight steal over the plain,
And the NIGHTINGALE pours its lorn plaint in the grove,
Ah! will not the fondness that thrills thro' the strain,
Then recall to my mind HIS dear accents of Love!
When I gaze on the STARS that bespangle the sky,
Ah! will not their mildness some pity inspire;
Like the soul-touching softness that beam'd in HIS eye,
When the tear of REGRET chill'd the flame of DESIRE?
Then spare, thou dear Urchin, thou soother of pain,
Oh! spare the sweet PICTURE engrav'd on my heart;
As a record of LOVE let it ever remain;
My bosom thy tablet thy pencil A DART.
Lines Written On The Sea-Coast
SWIFT o'er the bounding deep the VESSEL glides,
Its streamers flutt'ring in the summer gales,
The lofty mast the breezy air derides,
As gaily o'er the glitt'ring surf she sails.
Now beats each gallant heart with innate joys,
Bright hopes and tender fears alternate vie,
Dear schemes of pure delight the mind employs,
And the soul glistens in the tearful eye.
The fond expecting Maid delighted stands
On the bleak summit of yon chalky bourn,
With waving handkerchief and lifted hands
She hails her darling Sailor's safe return.
Ill-fated Maid, ne'er shall thy gentle breast
The chaste reward of constant passion prove,
Ne'er shall that timid form again be press'd
In the dear bondage of unsullied love:
Stern Heaven forbidsthe dark o'erwhelming deep
Mocks the poor pilot's skill, and braves his sighs;
O'er the high deck the frothy billows sweep,
And the fierce tempest drowns the sea boy's cries.
The madd'ning ocean swells with furious roar,
See the devoted bark, the shatter'd mast,
The splitting hulk dash'd on the rocky shore,
Rolls 'midst the howlings of the direful blast.
O'er the vex'd deep the vivid sulphur flies,
The jarring elements their clamours blend,
The deaf'ning thunder roars along the skies,
And whistling winds from lurid clouds descend.
The lab'ring wreck, contending with the wave,
Mounts to the blast, or plunges in the main,
The trembling wretch suspended o'er his grave,
Clings to the tatter'd shrouds, the pouring rain
Chills his sad breast, methinks I see him weep,
I hear his fearful groan his mutter'd pray'r,
O, cease to mourn, behold the yawning deep
Where soon thy weary soul shall mock Despair,
Yes, soon thy aching heart shall rest in peace,
For in the arms of Death all human sorrows cease.
The Reply To Time
O TIME, forgive the mournful song
That on thy pinions stole along,
When the rude hand of pain severe
Chas'd down my cheek the burning tear;
When sorrow chill'd each warm desire
That kindles FANCY'S lambent fire;
When HOPE, by fost'ring FRIENDSHIP rear'd,
A phantom of the brain appear'd;
Forgive the song, devoid of art,
That stole spontaneous from my heart;
For when that heart shall throb no more,
And all its keen regrets be o'er;
Should kind remembrance shed one tear
To sacred FRIENDSHIP o'er my bier;
When the dark precincts of the tomb,
Shall hide me in its deepest gloom;
O! should'st thou on thy wafting wing
The sigh of gentle sorrow bring;
Or fondly deign to bear the name
Of one, alas! unknown to fame;
Then, shall my weak untutor'd rhyme,
Exulting boast the gifts of TIME.
But while I feel youth's vivid fire
Fann'd by the breath of care expire;
While no blest ray of HOPE divine,
O'er my chill'd bosom deigns to shine:
While doom'd to mark the vapid day
In tasteless languor waste away:
Still, still, my sad and plaintive rhyme
Must blame the ruthless pow'r of TIME.
Each infant flow'r of rainbow hue,
That bathes its head in morning dew,
At twilight droops; the mountain PINE,
Whose high and waving brows incline
O'er the white cataract's foamy way,
Shall at THY withering touch decay!
The craggy cliffs that proudly rise
In awful splendour 'midst the skies,
Shall to the vale in fragments roll,
Obedient to thy fell controul!
The loftiest fabric rear'd to fame;
The sculptur'd BUST, the POET'S name;
The softest tint of TITIAN die;
The boast of magic MINSTRELSY;
The vows to holy FRIENDSHIP dear;
The sainted smile of LOVE sincere,
The flame that warms th' empassion'd heart;
All that fine feeling can impart;
The wonders of exterior grace;
The spells that bind the fairest face;
Fade in oblivion's torpid hour
The victims of thy TYRANT POW'R!
WHEN from the craggy mountain's pathless steep,
Whose flinty brow hangs o'er the raging sea,
My wand'ring eye beholds the foamy deep,
I mark the restless surgeand think of THEE.
The curling waves, the passing breezes move,
Changing and treach'rous as the breath of LOVE;
The "sad similitude" awakes my smart,
And thy dear image twines about my heart.
When at the sober hour of sinking day,
Exhausted Nature steals to soft repose,
When the hush'd linnet slumbers on the spray,
And scarce a ZEPHYR fans the drooping ROSE;
I glance o'er scenes of bliss to friendship dear,
And at the fond remembrance drop a tear;
Nor can the balmy incense soothe my smart,
Still cureless sorrow preys upon my heart.
When the loud gambols of the village throng,
Drown the lorn murmurs of the ring-dove's throat;
I think I hear thy fascinating song,
Join the melodious minstrel's tuneful note
My list'ning ear soon tells me 'tis not THEE,
Nor THY lov'd songnor THY soft minstrelsy;
In vain I turn away to hide my smart,
Thy dulcet numbers vibrate in my heart.
When with the Sylvan train I seek the grove,
Where MAY'S soft breath diffuses incense round,
Where VENUS smiles serene, and sportive LOVE
With thornless ROSES spreads the fairy ground;
The voice of pleasure dies upon mine ear,
My conscious bosom sighsTHOU ART NOT HERE !
Soft tears of fond regret reveal its smart,
And sorrow, restless sorrow, chills my heart.
When at my matin pray'rs I prostrate kneel,
And Court RELIGION's aid to soothe my woe,
The meek-ey'd saint who pities what I feel,
Forbids the sigh to heave, the tear to flow;
For ah ! no vulgar passion fills my mind,
Calm REASON's hand illumes the flame refin'd,
ALL the pure feelings FRIENDSHIP can impart,
Live in the centre of my aching heart.
When at the still and solemn hour of night,
I press my lonely couch to find repose;
Joyless I watch the pale moon's chilling light,
Where thro' the mould'ring tow'r the north-wind blows;
My fev'rish lids no balmy slumbers own,
Still my sad bosom beats for thee alone:
Nor shall its aching fibres cease to smart,
'Till DEATH's cold SPELL is twin'd about my HEART.
Ode To Eloquence
HAIL! GODDESS of persuasive art!
The magic of whose tuneful tongue
Lulls to soft harmony the wand'ring heart
With fascinating song;
O, let me hear thy heav'n-taught strain,
As thro' my quiv'ring pulses steal
The mingling throbs of joy and pain,
Which only sensate minds can feel;
Ah ! let me taste the bliss supreme,
Which thy warm touch unerring flings
O'er the rapt sense's finest strings,
When GENIUS, darting frown the sky,
Glances across my wond'ring eye,
Her animating beam.
SWEET ELOQUENCE! thy mild controul,
Awakes to REASON's dawn, the IDIOT soul;
When mists absorb the MENTAL sight,
'Tis thine, to dart CREATIVE LIGHT;
'Tis thine, to chase the filmy clouds away,
And o'er the mind's deep bloom, spread a refulgent ray.
Nor is thy wond'rous art confin'd,
Within the bounds of MENTAL space,
For thou canst boast exterior grace,
Bright emblem of the fertile mind;
Yes; I have seen thee, with persuasion meek,
Bathe in the lucid tear, on Beauty's cheek,
Have mark'd thee in the downcast eye,
When suff'ring Virtue claim'd the pitying sigh.
Oft, by thy thrilling voice subdued,
The meagre fiend INGRATITUDE
Her treach'rous fang conceals;
Pale ENVY hides her forked sting;
And CALUMNY, beneath the wing
Of dark oblivion steals.
Before thy pure and lambent fire
Shall frozen Apathy expire;
Thy influence warm and unconfin'd,
Shall rapt'rous transports give,
And in the base and torpid mind,
Shall bid the fine Affections live;
When JEALOUSY's malignant dart,
Strikes at the fondly throbbing heart;
When fancied woes, on every side assail,
Thy honey'd accents shall prevail;
When burning Passion withers up the brain,
And the fix'd lids, the glowing drops sustain,
Touch'd by thy voice, the melting eye
Shall pour the balm of yielding SYMPATHY.
'Tis thine, with lenient Song to move
The dumb despair of hopeless LOVE;
Or when the animated soul
On Fancy's wing shall soar,
And scorning Reason's soft controul,
Untrodden paths explore;
'Till by distracting conflicts tost,
The intellectual source is lost:
E'en then, the witching music of thy tongue
Stealing thro' Mis'ry's DARKEST GLOOM,
Weaves the fine threads of FANCY's loom,
'Till every slacken'd nerve new strung,
Bids renovated NATURE shine,
Amidst the fost'ring beams of ELOQUENCE DIVINE.
SOFT is the balmy breath of May,
When from the op'ning lids of day
Meek twilight steals; and from its wings
Translucent pearls of ether flings.
MILD is the chaste Moon's languid eye,
When gliding down the dappled sky
She feebly lifts her spangled bow,
Around her glitt'ring darts to throw.
SWEET are the aromatic bowers,
When Night sends forth refreshing showers
O'er every thirsty fainting bud,
That drinks with joy the grateful flood.
Yet, can the deeply wounded Mind,
From these, no lenient balsam find.
What can the force of anguish quell,
Where sullen Sorrow loves to dwell,
Where round the bosom's burning throne,
HOPELESS, the mingling PASSIONS groan?
While thro' each guiv'ring, scorching vein,
Rolls a revolving tide of pain;
That struggling with the Storms of FATE,
Provokes her darkest, direst, HATE.
O, BARD ADMIR'D ! if ought could move
The soul of Apathy to love;
If, o'er my aching, bleeding breast,
Ought could diffuse the balm of rest,
The pow'r is thine for oh ! thy lays
Warm'd by thy Mind's transcendent blaze,
Dart thro' my frame with force divine,
While all my rending woes combine,
And thronging round thy glorious LYRE,
In momentary bliss EXPIRE.
So, the meek ROSE, that droops forlorn,
Opes its cold breast to meet the morn,
And shaking round a brilliant show'r,
Tempts the bright SUN'S meridian pow'r;
Trembling, its blushing cheek receives
The glowing kiss warms PHOEBUS gives;
Yet, to his fire unconscious flies,
And midst his burning glances, DIES.
Why wilt thou fly ?why give thy form
To the pale phantoms of the storm,
And from the dizzy madd'ning steep
Dash thy proud harpwhile o'er the deep
Each envious FIEND shall fiercely glare,
And howling, mock thy RASH DESPAIR!
Ah! wherefore, prodigal of FAME,
Damp with thy tears the MUSE'S flame?
Say, dost thou think, as the soft show'r
Checks the wing'd lightning's fervid pow'r,
To quell the transports of Thy Lyre,
And with cold Sorrow quench its fire?
Know, BARD SUPREME ! thy wond'rous song
Doth not to mortal power belong;
The flame, that to thy care is giv'n,
Owns an eternal source in Heav'n;
And like thy PURE, ILLUSTRIOUS Soul,
SHALL LIVE, beyond thy weak controul.
YES, I will lead thee to some rock,
Whose frowns the dashing billows mock;
While the fierce LORD OF LIGHT shall reign
DESPOTIC o'er th' ethereal plain.
Or when his fiery coursers fly
On red wings down the Western sky;
While Ocean's curling waves unfold,
In one vast sheet of liquid gold;
Then shalt thou mark CREATION'S pride
In slow and trembling tints subside,
'Till darkness stealing o'er the globe,
Unfurls its sable spangled robe.
Then shall thy conscious feelings find
An emblem of the Human Mind;
How grand, ineffable and bright,
When all its lustrous fires unite:
But when chill sorrow spreads its snare,
And tempts its victim to DESPAIR,
All, all its proud perfections fade
In black, oblivion's baneful shade.
O, SUN OF GENIUS! pierce the cloud
That dares thy radiant glories shroud;
Turn, turn thy course to bowers of joy,
Where rob'd in Bliss, the Angel Boy
Shall spread each witching, nameless sweet,
Thy truant, wand'ring heart to greet;
There, pour thy soul in faithful vows,
While thy own LAUREL'S deathless boughs
From each blest leaf shall drop a tear
To bathe the wounds of love sincere.
There, some chaste maid shall list thy lays
In speechless eloquence of praise;
And with her soft eye's melting glance
Infold thee in delicious trance.
And when her heart's celestial shrine
Shall burn with passion warm as thine,
Then, shalt thou feel the rapt'rous glow,
Which none, but souls like THINE, CAN KNOW;
Then, shalt thou hear her tongue declare,
THOU ART NOT FORM'D FOR COLD DESPAIR.
From ME the barb'rous fates unite
To wrest each vision of delight;
No gleam of joy my sad-heart knows,
No interval of calm repose;
Save, when thy LOV'D SERAPHIC Strain
Thrills thro' my breast, with quiv'ring pain;
And bids each throbbing pulse deplore,
That "IF I E'ER COULD PLEASE, I PLEASE NO MORE."
The Granny Grey, A Love Tale
DAME DOWSON, was a granny grey,
Who, three score years and ten,
Had pass'd her busy hours away,
In talking of the Men !
They were her theme, at home, abroad,
At wake, and by the winter fire,
Whether it froze, or blew, or thaw'd,
In sunshine or in shade, her ire
Was never calm'd; for still she made
Scandal her pleasure--and her trade!
A Grand-daughter DAME DOWSON had--
As fair, as fair could be!
Lovely enough to make Men mad;
For, on her cheek's soft downy rose
LOVE seem'd in dimples to repose;
Her clear blue eyes look'd mildly bright
Like ether drops of liquid light,
Or sapphire gems,--which VENUS bore,
When, for the silver-sanded shore,
She left her native Sea!
ANNETTA, was the damsel's name;
A pretty, soft, romantic sound;
Such as a lover's heart may wound;
And set his fancy in a flame:
For had the maid been christen'd JOAN,
Or DEBORAH, or HESTER,--
The little God had coldly prest her,
Or, let her quite alone!
For magic is the silver sound--
Which, often, in a NAME is found!
ANNETTA was belov'd; and She
To WILLIAM gave her vows;
For WILLIAM was as brave a Youth,
As ever claim'd the meed of truth,
And, to reward such constancy,
Nature that meed allows.
But Old DAME DOWSON could not bear
A Youth so brave--a Maid so fair.
The GRANNY GREY, with maxims grave
Oft to ANNETTA lessons gave:
And still the burthen of the Tale
Was, "Keep the wicked Men away,
"For should their wily arts prevail
"You'll surely rue the day!"
And credit was to GRANNY due,
The truth, she, by EXPERIENCE, knew!
ANNETTA blush'd, and promis'd She
Obedient to her will would be.
But Love, with cunning all his own,
Would never let the Maid alone:
And though she dar'd not see her Lover,
Lest GRANNY should the deed discover,
She, for a woman's weapon, still,
From CUPID'S pinion pluck'd a quill:
And, with it, prov'd that human art
Cannot confine the Female Heart.
At length, an assignation She
With WILLIAM slily made,
It was beneath an old Oak Tree,
Whose widely spreading shade
The Moon's soft beams contriv'd to break
For many a Village Lover's sake.
But Envy has a Lynx's eye
And GRANNY DOWSON cautious went
Before, to spoil their merriment,
Thinking no creature nigh.
Young WILLIAM came; but at the tree
The watchful GRANDAM found!
Straight to the Village hasten'd he
And summoning his neighbours round,
The Hedgerow's tangled boughs among,
Conceal'd the list'ning wond'ring throng.
He told them that, for many a night,
An OLD GREY OWL was heard;
A fierce, ill-omen'd, crabbed Bird--
Who fill'd the village with affright.
He swore this Bird was large and keen,
With claws of fire, and eye-balls green;
That nothing rested, where she came;
That many pranks the monster play'd,
And many a timid trembling Maid
She brought to shame
For negligence, that was her own;
Turning the milk to water, clear,
And spilling from the cask, small-beer;
Pinching, like fairies, harmless lasses,
And shewing Imps, in looking-glasses;
Or, with heart-piercing groan,
Along the church-yard path, swift gliding,
Or, on a broomstick, witchlike, riding.
All listen'd trembling; For the Tale
Made cheeks of Oker, chalky pale;
The young a valiant doubt pretended;
The old believ'd, and all attended.
Now to DAME DOWSON he repairs
And in his arms, enfolds the Granny:
Kneels at her feet, and fondly swears
He will be true as any !
Caresses her with well feign'd bliss
And, fearfully , implores a Kiss--
On the green turf distracted lying ,
He wastes his ardent breath, in sighing.
The DAME was silent; for the Lover
Would, when she spoke,
She fear'd, discover
Her envious joke:
And she was too much charm'd to be
In haste,--to end the Comedy!
Now WILLIAM, weary of such wooing,
Began, with all his might, hollooing:--
When suddenly from ev'ry bush
The eager throngs impatient rush;
With shouting, and with boist'rous glee
DAME DOWSON they pursue,
And from the broad Oak's canopy,
O'er moonlight fields of sparkling dew,
They bear in triumph the Old DAME,
Bawling, with loud Huzza's, her name;
"A witch, a witch !" the people cry,
"A witch !" the echoing hills reply:
'Till to her home the GRANNY came,
Where, to confirm the tale of shame,
Each rising day they went, in throngs,
With ribbald jests, and sportive songs,
'Till GRANNY of her spleen, repented;
And to young WILLIAM'S ardent pray'r,
To take, for life, ANNETTA fair,--
At last ,--CONSENTED.
And should this TALE, fall in the way
Of LOVERS CROSS'D, or GRANNIES GREY,--
Let them confess, 'tis made to prove--
The wisest heads ,--TOO WEAK FOR LOVE!
The Adieu To Love
LOVE, I renounce thy tyrant sway,
I mock thy fascinating art,
MINE, be the calm unruffled day,
That brings no torment to the heart;
The tranquil mind, the noiseless scene,
Where FANCY, with enchanting mien,
Shall in her right-hand lead along
The graceful patroness of Song;
Where HARMONY shall softly fling
Her light tones o'er the dulcet string;
And with her magic LYRE compose
Each pang that throbs, each pulse that glows;
Till her resistless strains dispense,
The balm of blest INDIFFERENCE.
LOVE, I defy thy vaunted pow'r!
In still Retirement's sober bow'r
I'll rest secure;no fev'rish pain
Shall dart its hot-shafts thro' my brain,
No start'ling dreams invade my mind
No spells my stagnate pulses bind;
No jealous agonies impart
Their madd'ning poisons to my heart
But sweetly lull'd to placid rest,
The sensate tenant of my breast
Shall one unshaken course pursue,
Such as thy vot'ries never knew.
SWEET SOLITUDE ! pure Nature's child,
Fair pensive daughter of the wild;
Nymph of the Forest; thee I press
My weary sick'ning soul to bless;
To give my heart the dear repose,
That smiles unmov'd at transient woes;
That shelter'd from Life's trivial cares,
Each calm delicious comfort shares;
While conscious rectitude of mind,
Blends with each thought a bliss refin'd,
And scorning fear's soul-chilling pow'r,
Dares court REFLECTION'S dang'rous hour,
To scrutinize with cautious art,
Each hidden channel of the heart.
Ah, gentle maiden, let me stray,
Where Innocence for ever gay,
Shall lead me to her loveliest bow'rs
And crown my brow with thornless flow'rs;
And strew the weedy paths of time
With Resignation's balm sublime;
While Rosy SPRING, shall smiling haste,
On light steps o'er the dewy waste,
Eager her brightest gems to shed
Around my verdant perfum'd bed;
And in her train the glowing hours
Shall bathe their wings in scented show'rs;
And shake the fost'ring drops to earth,
To nurse meek blossoms into birth;
And when autumnal zephyrs fly
Sportive, beneath the sapphire sky,
Or in the stream their pinions lave,
Or teach the golden sheaves to wave;
I'll watch the ruby eye of day
In awful lustre glide away,
And closing sink to transient rest,
On panting Ocean's pearly breast.
O SOLITUDE ! how blest the lot
Of her who shares thy silent cot!
Who with celestial peace, pursues
The pensive wand'rings of the MUSE;
To stray unseen where'er she leads,
O'er grassy hills and sunny meads,
Or at the still of Night's cold noon
To gaze upon the chilly Moon,
While PHILOMELA'S mournful Song
Meanders fairy haunts among,
To tell the hopeless LOVER'S ear,
That SYMPATHY'S FOND BIRD is near;
Whose note shall soothe his aching heart,
Whose grief shall emulate his smart;
And by its sadly proud excess,
Make every pang he suffers less;
For oft in passion's direst woes,
The veriest wretch can yield repose;
While from the voice of kindred grief,
We gain a sad, but kind relief.
AH LOVE! thou barb'rous fickle boy,
Thou semblance of delusive joy,
Too long my heart has been thy slave:
For thou hast seen me wildly rave,
And with impetuous frenzy haste,
Heedless across the thorny waste,
And drink the cold dews, ere they fell
On my bare bosom's burning swell;
When bleak the wintry whirlwinds blew;
And swift the sultry meteors flew;
Yes, thou hast seen me, tyrant pow'r,
At freezing midnight's witching hour,
Start from my couch, subdu'd, oppres'd,
While jealous anguish wrung my breast,
While round my eager senses flew,
Dark brow'd Suspicion's wily crew,
Taunting my soul with restless ire,
That set my pulsate brain on fire.
What didst thou then ? Inhuman Boy!
Didst thou not paint each well-feign'd joy,
Each artful smile, each study'd grace
That deck'd some sordid rival's face;
Didst thou not feed my madd'ning sense
With Love's delicious eloquence,
While on my ear thy accents pour'd
The voice of him my soul ador'd,
His rapt'rous toneshis strains divine,
And all those vows that once were mine.
But mild Reflection's piercing ray,
Soon chas'd the fatal dream away,
And with it all my rending woes,
While in its place majestic rose
The Angel TRUTH !her stedfast mien
Bespoke the conscious breast serene;
Her eye more radiant than the day
Beam'd with persuasion's temper'd ray;
Sweet was her voice, and while she sung
Myriads of Seraphs hover'd round,
Eager to iterate the sound,
That on her heav'n-taught accents hung.
Wond'ring I gaz'd! my throbbing breast,
Celestial energies confest;
Transports, before unfelt, unknown,
Throng'd round my bosom's tremb'ling throne,
While ev'ry nerve with rapture strange,
Seem'd to partake the blissful change.
Now with unmov'd and dauntless Eye,
I mark thy winged arrows fly;
No more thy baneful spells shall bind
The purer passions of my mind;
No more, false Love, shall jealous fears
Inflame my check with scalding tears;
Or shake my vanquish'd sense, or rend
My aching heart with poignant throes,
Or with tumultuous fevers blend,
Self-wounding, visionary woes.
No more I'll waste the midnight hour
In expectation's silent bow'r;
And musing o'er thy transcripts dear,
Efface their sorrows with a tear.
No more with timid fondness wait
Till morn unfolds her glitt'ring gate,
When thy lov'd song's seraphic sound,
Wou'd on my quiv'ring nerves rebound
With proud delight;no more thy blush
Shall o'er my cheek unbidden rush,
And scorning ev'ry strong controul,
Unveil the tumults of my soul.
No more when in retirement blest,
Shalt thou obtrude upon my rest;
And tho' encircled with delight,
Absorb my sense, obscure my sight,
Give to my eye the vacant glance,
The mien that marks the mental trance;
The fault'ring tonethe sudden start,
The trembling hand, the bursting heart;
The devious step, that strolls along
Unmindful of the gazing throng;
The feign'd indiff'rence prone to chide;
That blazonswhat it seeks to hide.
Nor do I dread thy vengeful wiles,
Thy soothing voice, thy winning smiles,
Thy trick'ling tear, thy mien forlorn,
Thy pray'r, thy sighs, thy oaths I scorn;
No more on ME thy arrows show'r,
Capricious Love! I BRAVE THY POW'R.
Petrarch To Laura
"Ere such a soul regains its peaceful state,
"How often must it love, how often hate,
"How often hope, despair, resent, regret,
"Conceal, disdain, do all things, but forget."
YE silent haunts, ye dark embow'ring shades,
Lone shaggy wilds and melancholy glades;
Ye mountains black'ning o'er the thorny vale;
Ye lucid lakes that trembling meet the gale;
Ye gloomy avenues of dire despair,
Dear last asylums of long-cherish'd care;
Eternal solitudes ! where LOVE retires
To bathe his wounds, and quench his fatal fires;
Where frantic, lost, forlorn, and sad I go
A wand'ring pilgrim in a maze of woe;
Oh! to your deepest caverns let me fly,
Breathe a fond pray'r, and 'MIDST YOUR HORRORS DIE.
Ye sparry grots, ye once ador'd retreats,
Ye tinkling rills, ye consecrated seats,
Whose velvet sod embroider'd o'er with flow'rs,
On the charm'd sense celestial odour pours;
Ye roseate banks o'erhung with waving trees,
That moan responsive to the murm'ring breeze;
How cold, how desolate your shade appears,
A path of mis'ry thro' a vale of tears.
Now pale Despair hangs brooding o'er your bow'rs,
Absorbs your sweets, and withers all your flow'rs;
Strips the thick foliage from your verdant shades,
And spreads eternal darkness o'er your glades;
No more for ME your sunny banks shall pour
In purple tides ripe Autumn's luscious store;
No more for ME your lust'rous tints shall glow,
Your forests wave, your silv'ry channels flow;
Yet 'midst your heav'n my wounded breast shall crave
One narrow cell, my SOLACE and my GRAVE.
Subdu'd, o'erwhelm'd, a with'ring shade I stray,
Shrink from myself; and shudder at the day:
No more fond HOPE sustains my sick'ning soul,
Resistless passion spurns her meek controul;
Corroding anguish o'er each prospect low'rs,
Bends my weak frame, my lusty youth devours;
Clings to my breast where ev'ry fibre bleeds,
And on its vital throne insatiate feeds.
Where shall I fly ? what path untrod explore,
Where love can wound, and memory live no more;
Where, LAURA, shall I turn, what balsam find
To soothe the throbbings of my fev'rish mind ?
What blest relief can life's dull round impart,
What rapture vivify the hopeless heart;
What pitying star its beamy stream dispense,
To light my soul, and cheer my vagrant sense;
To gild the gloom of desolating woes,
And lead my wand'ring footsteps to repose?
When wild with passion, madd'ning with remorse,
From AVIGNON'S lov'd walls I bent my course;
While roll'd in crimson clouds the orb of day,
O'er seas of ether shed his parting ray;
As to his western goal he journey'd forth,
Leaving pale twilight weeping o'er the earth;
Oft did I pause, oft turn my longing eyes
To the tall spire that pierc'd the evening skies;
All was serene ! save when the curfew's sound
Struck on my pensive heart with knell profound;
While Fancy bade my frantic mind explore,
Those scenes of holy joy I taste no more;
Unsullied altars, consecrated shrines,
Where curling incense round each taper twines;
Where, thro' long aisles, seraphic PÆANS ring,
And meek-ey'd virgins choral anthems sing!
Where, like a being of celestial mould,
My LAURA'S beauteous form I dar'd behold * !
While at the shrine her orisons she pour'd,
Pure as the spirit of the saint ador'd !
Oft as the cross her snowy fingers press'd,
Her auburn tresses veil'd her spotless breast !
A shade transparent deck'd her brow divine,
And bade her eyes with temper'd lustre shine!
As low she bow'd before the throne of Grace,
A cherub's softness harmoniz'd her face;
A smile benign reveal'd her tranquil soul,
While from her lips devotion's fervour stole;
Each conscious rapture to her share was giv'n,
Her form was virtue, and her mind was heav'n.
Fix'd to the earth with trembling zeal I gaz'd.
Each passion waken'd, and each sense amaz'd !
Involuntary sighs, too soon confess'd
The struggling tumults lab'ring in my breast;
No thought sublime on my rapt feelings hung,
No sacred eloquence unchain'd my tongue;
ALL, ALL WAS LOVE ! while thro' my burning brain
Rush'd a fierce torrent of convulsive pain;
From my dim eyes celestial radiance stole,
While howling demons grasp'd my sinking soul,
Guilt's writhing scorpions twining round my heart,
Enflam'd each wound, and heighten'd every smart;
In vain I sought Religion's calm domain,
And at her footstool pour'd my hopeless pain;
The priestess frowning on my impious pray'r,
Check'd the bold suit, and hurl'd me to despair.
AH, LAURA! canst thou seal the dread decree
That tears thy PETRARCH from his GOD and THEE?
That gives his mental hopes, his fond desires
To conscious anguish and consuming fires ?
Canst thou with unrelenting vengeance urge
A trembling soul to fate's extremest verge;
And while subdu'd it supplicates relief,
Dash the doom'd suff'rer to eternal grief ?
Why, soft enchantress, spread the fatal snare
That lures thy struggling victim to despair ?
Why with meek smiles my wand'ring sense reclaim?
Why feed with pitying looks my hopeless flame?
Ah! rather come in awful lustre drest,
Calm my touch'd sense, and lull the fiends to rest;
Teach me each rebel passion to disown,
Chill my hot pulse, and freeze my heart to stone:
With contrite sighs devotion's flame illume;
With holy tear-drops gem this mental gloom:
Come in transcendent VIRTUE'S sacred form,
Stem the fierce torrent, and appease the storm;
Grasp the dire bolt suspended o'er my head,
And o'er my quiv'ring heart-strings patience shed;
Check with thy councils ev'ry madd'ning flight,
Direct me trembling to the paths of light;
Bow my parch'd dip to kiss the chast'ning rod,
And lead me blushing to the throne of GOD!
Where'er I fly, where'er my frenzy roves,
To pine-clad summits, or low bending groves:
Still on my shatter'd brain thy form appears,
Steals to my heart, and glistens thro' my tears:
Thy voice I hear in ev'ry whispering gale,
Thy fragrant breath from Citron buds inhale;
I mark the ROSE in native sweetness drest,
I snatch the blushing emblem to my breast;
Thy burnish'd ringlets float across my sight,
In the last glowing stream of orient light;
And as the star of morn unfolds its fire,
Stolen from the glances of its burning sire:
Thy beaming eyes emit translucent rays,
The lust'rous heralds of thy soul's rich blaze!
A matron's purity thy smiles impart,
And Heav'n's best splendours brighten in thy heart;
Ah! wherefore PETRARCH, wherefore rashly dare
The dang'rous magic of a form so fair?
Yet ere thy pow'r supreme my soul confess'd,
Ere fainting Virtue fled my burning breast;
While in its veins one ling'ring spark remain'd,
One heavenly spark by trembling hope sustain'd;
VAUCLUSE thy sylvan solitudes I chose
To cure my passion, or conceal my woes;
And oft beneath thy melancholy shade
Reluctant, pensive, half-resolv'd I stray'd;
And trembling, fault'ring, frequent sighs I pour'd
Before the shrine of HIM but half ador'd:
While as the sacred Virgin's form I view'd
A brighter IDOL, every sense subdu'd!
While holy vows were lost in warm desires
LOVE drop'd a tear that quench'd religion's fires:
While thro' my eyes my heart's true fervour shone,
And my fond soul, dear Saint, WAS ALL THY OWN!
Now o'er some craggy peak when frowning night
Grasps the last shad'wy tint of ruby light;
When o'er the vast expanse I seek in vain
The tawny vineyard and the yellow plain;
Heedless I wander, while the tempest flies,
Brave the bleak winds, and mock the threat'ning skies.
Where from the wild romantic cliffs around
The headlong torrents fall with hollow sound;
And stealing thro' the winding vale below,
Unseen, thro' mid-day glooms incessant flow;
While sullen echo's aëry tongue betrays,
Where round her seat each brawling channel strays;
While the lone owl her lurid haunts among,
To the pale moon repeats her nightly song;
While rocks acute, my fev'rish limbs sustain,
Chill'd by the freezing blast and drizzling rain;
Madd'ning I see thy glitt'ring phantom rise,
Spring from the steep, and hover 'midst the skies.
I rave, I howl, from point to point I start,
While hell's worst torments riot in my heart;
I court the fiends my rending pangs to share,
And prove the PROUDEST TRANSPORTS OF DESPAIR,
When first to these calm shades I bent my way,
Led by the light of intellectual ray;
I mark'd soft peace her gentlest balm diffuse,
To sooth the hapless HERMIT OF VAUCLUSE!
Where 'midst the foliage of my laurel I bow'rs,
The MUSE had sprinkled never-fading flow'rs;
Where mild PHILOSOPHY unveil'd her shrine,
Each care to solace, and each wish refine;
Whole years my studious eye intent explor'd
The treasur'd gems by hoary wisdom stor'd!
Each truth sublime by ancient sages taught,
Grac'd with the glossy charm of polish'd thought:
And oft the sickly taper's feeble rays
Shrunk from the splendours of the solar blaze,
While o'er the classic page absorb'd I hung,
Where HOMER breath'd, or tuneful VIRGIL sung!
When all was rapture, all was peace, my breast
No pang endur'd, no wayward thought confess'd!
Swiftly thy beauty gleam'd across my sight,
Dim'd the bright flame of transitory light,
Spurn'd each weak barrier trembling Reason gave,
And plung'd me vanquish'd in affliction's wave.
Yet, yet once more, my aching bosom sought
A lenient pause from agonizing thought;
I left these bow'rs o'er foreign realms to stray,
LOVE lit his torch to guide my thorny way !
Mournful I journey'd o'er ITALIA'S lands,
And moisten'd with my tears SICILIAN sands,
Where the proud DANUBE'S rushing waters roll,
I pour'd the madd'ning anguish of my soul.
O'er ALPINE hills in solitary woe,
I wept and wander'd 'midst eternal snow.
Oft did I mark the RHONE'S impetuous stream
By the faint lustre of pale Cynthia's beam;
And as the foamy current curl'd along,
Heard the rocks echo with my frantic song !
Where ROME'S majestic ruins tott'ring stand
The hourly victims of Time's mould'ring hand;
Whole nights I've trod the tessellated stone,
While scarce a glimm'ring star in pity shone;
And starting 'midst th' impenetrable gloom,
Grasp'd the cold fragment of some MARTYR'S tomb,
And tore the crawling ivy from its bed,
To weave a pillow for my burning head:
Then rais'd my eyes to GOD in fervent pray'r,
To end my BEING and my SORROWS there.
For O! eternal MARTYRDOM I prove,
Heav'n's doom'd APOSTATEmy fell tyrant, LOVE!
When ROME her proud applause exulting gave,
And round my car her laurels stoop'd to wave!
When borne triumphant o'er the sacred ground,
By holy hands with flow'ry chaplets crown'd!
While clanking cymbals echo'd thro' the sky;
And rosy infants bade the censers I fly!
When nation's throng'd THY POET'S Fame to share,
And shouts of rapture fill'd the perfum'd air!
No flush'd delight from adulation caught,
No selfish joy with false ambition fraught
Could draw my prostrate soul from LOVE and THEE;
Still at THY shrine I bent the trembling knee!
For who but THEE, transcendent Angel ! taught
The flame to live, which kindled every thought?
For who, like THEE, could heavenly themes inspire,
Or touch the sensate mind with hallow'd fire,
Mingling with mortal dust the spark divine,
That bade my verse with deathless glories shine.
In yon cool grot emboss'd with shells and flow'rs,
Where the hot stream of noon-day light scarce pours;
Where silence reigns, save when the shallow rill
With gurgling sound steals o'er the mossy sill;
While 'midst the shadows of the twilight gleam,
I tun'd my LYREthy FATAL CHARMS my theme;
O'er my chill'd form sleep's sable curtain hung,
Veil'd my sad eyes, and chain'd my fault'ring tongue.
Each sense absorb'd, yet my fond SOUL was free,
Its thoughts, its faculties, all dwelt with thee;
Celestial visions hover'd o'er my breast,
And rose lip'd Angels sooth'd my pangs to rest.
Their silver harps hung pendant on the sky,
Bound with unfading wreaths of em'rald die,
While the wing'd choristers inscrib'd thy name
On Heav'n's blue tablet with etherial flame.
In the bland portal of the rosy East
AURORA sat in golden mantle drest;
The silent air in crystal fetters bound,
Slept on the folded clouds that glisten'd round;
When to my ravish'd sight thy form was shown,
The guardian spirit of the sphery throne!
A crown of orient pearls thy brow compress'd,
A zone of myrtle clasp'd thy iv'ry breast!
The tear of PITY trembled in thine eye
Like a bright PLANET in the morning sky!
The blush of HEBE mantled o'er thy cheek,
When thus thy voice seraphic seem'd to speak:
"Freed from the goading chain of mortal care,
I rove a bless'd inhabitant of air;
Yet, in delicious extacy I wait,
Till my lov'd PETRARCH shall partake my fate:
Death's but a messenger that brings relief
To the last pang of sublunary grief.
THE SOUL, once purified, awaits on those
Who toil amidst a wilderness of woes:
It guards the partners of its mortal hours,
When anguish threatens, or despair devours,
Shields the frail bosom with a cherub's wing,
And robs thy tyrant DEATH of EV'RY STING.
But see the ruddy dawn's advancing blaze,
Tears my fond shadow from thy eager gaze;
I leave thee in life's wild'ring vale to rove,
The mourning victim of disast'rous love:
Farewell, thy LAURA'S last fond hope is this,
To meet her PETRARCH in the realms of bliss."
The vision vanish'd, while my frantic mind
"Awoke to all the griefs it left behind!"
Now driven from each vain hope, each fond delight,
My SUN of glory saddens into night;
My once bright laurels doom'd, alas ! to fade
On the pale forehead of a ling'ring shade.
A living spectre drooping and forlorn,
A star obscur'd of all its lustre shorn:
I count my midnight beads, and kneeling, rave,
On the damp sod my PALLET and my GRAVE.
Toiling thro' tedious years unseen, unblest,
Eternal thorns corroding in my breast;
I fast, I pray, and yet no comfort find;
Heaven on my lips, but hell within my mind!
I feel THEE ever on my heated brain;
I weep, I sigh, I supplicate in vain !
Or, if by chance one pitying ray of rest
Warms the sad inmate of my throbbing breast;
'Tis but a gleam of INTELLECTUAL light
That feebly glances o'er my MENTAL sight,
And for a moment dissipates the gloom,
To point my weary footsteps TO THE TOMB.
Ainsi Va Le Monde
[As a Tribute of Esteem and Admiration this Poem is inscribed to ROBERT MERRY, Esq. A. M. Member of the Royal Academy at Florence, and Author of the Laurel of Liberty, and the Della Crusca Poems.]
O THOU, to whom superior worth's allied,
Thy Country's honourand the MUSES' pride;
Whose pen gives polish to the varying line
That blends instruction with the song divine;
Whose fancy, glancing o'er the hostile plain,
Plants a fond trophy o'er the mighty slain; I
Or to the daisied lawn directs its way,
Blithe as the songstress of returning day;
Who deign'd to rove where twinkling glow-worms lead
The tiny legions o'er the glitt'ring mead;
Whose liquid notes in sweet meand'rings flow,
Mild as the murmurs of the Bird of Woe;
Who gave to Sympathy its softest pow'r,
The charm to wing Affliction's sable hour;
Who in Italia's groves, with thrilling song,
Call'd mute attention from the minstrel throng;
Gave proud distinction to the Poet's name,
And claim'd, by modest worth, the wreath of fame
Accept the Verse thy magic harp inspires,
Nor scorn the Muse that kindles at its fires.
O, justly gifted with the Sacred Lyre,
Whose sounds can more than mortal thoughts inspire,
Whether its strings HEROIC measures move,
Or lyric numbers charm the soul to love;
Whether thy fancy "pours the varying verse"
In bow'rs of bliss, or o'er the plumed hearse;
Whether of patriot zeal, or past'ral sports,
The peace of hamlets, or the pride of courts:
Still Nature glows in ev'ry classic line
Still Genius dictatesstill the verse is thine.
Too long the Muse, in ancient garb array'd,
Has pin'd neglected in oblivion's shade;
Driv'n from the sun-shine of poetic fame,
Stripp'd of each charm she scarcely boasts a name:
Her voice no more can please the vapid throng,
No more loud Pæans consecrate her song,
Cold, faint, and sullen, to the grove she flies,
A faded garland veils her radiant eyes:
A with'ring laurel on her breast she wears,
Fann'd by her sighs, and spangled with her tears;
From her each fond associate early fled,
She mourn'd a MILTON lost, a SHAKSPERE dead:
Her eye beheld a CHATTERTON oppress'd,
A famish'd OTWAYravish'd from her breast;
Now in their place a flutt'ring form appears,
Mocks her fall'n pow'r, and triumphs in her tears:
A flippant, senseless, aëry thing, whose eye
Glares wanton mirth, and fulsome ribaldry.
While motley mumm'ry holds her tinsel reign,
SHAKSPERE might write, and GARRICK act in vain:
True Wit recedes, when blushing Reason views
This spurious offspring of the banish'd Muse.
The task be thine to check the daring hand
That leads fantastic folly o'er the land;
The task be thine with witching spells to bind
The feath'ry shadows of the fickle mind;
To strew with deathless flow'rs the dreary waste;
To pluck the weeds of vitiated taste;
To cheer with smiles the Muse's glorious toil,
And plant perfection on her native soil:
The Arts, that thro' dark centuries have pin'd,
Toil'd without fame, in sordid chains confin'd,
Burst into light with renovated fire,
Bid Envy shrink, and Ignorance expire.
No more prim KNELLER'S simp'ring beauties vie,
Or LELY'S genius droops with languid eye:
No more prepost'rous figures pain the view,
Aliens to Nature, yet to Fancy true,
The wild chimeras of capricious thought,
Deform'd in fashion, and with errors fraught;
The gothic phantoms sick'ning fade away,
And native Genius rushes into day.
REYNOLDS, 'tis thine with magic skill to trace
The perfect semblance of exterior grace;
Thy hand, by Nature guided, marks the line
That stamps perfection on the form divine.
'Tis thine to tint the lip with rosy die,
To paint the softness of the melting eye;
With auburn curls luxuriantly display'd,
The ivory shoulders polish'd fall to shade;
To deck the well-turn'd arm with matchless grace,
To mark the dimpled smile on Beauty's face:
The task is thine, with cunning hand to throw
The veil transparent on the breast of snow:
The Statesman's thought, the Infant's cherub mien,
The Poet's fire, the Matron's eye serene,
Alike with animated lustre shine
Beneath thy polish'd pencil's touch divine.
As BRITAIN'S Genius glories in thy Art,
Adores thy virtues, and reveres thy heart,
Nations unborn shall celebrate thy name,
And waft thy mem'ry on the wings of Fame.
Oft when the mind, with sick'ning pangs oppress'd,
Flies to the Muse, and courts the balm of rest,
When Reason, sated with life's weary woes,
Turns to itself and finds a blest repose,
A gen'rous pride that scorns each petty art,
That feels no envy rankling in the heart,
No mean deceit that wings its shaft at Fame,
Or gives to pamper'd Vice a pompous Name;
Then, calm reflection shuns the sordid crowd,
The senseless chaos of the little proud,
Then, indignation stealing through the breast,
Spurns the pert tribe in flimsy greatness drest;
Who, to their native nothingness consign'd,
Sink in contemptnor leave a trace behind.
Then Fancy paints, in visionary gloom,
The sainted shadows of the laurel'd tomb,
The Star of Virtue glist'ning on each breast,
Divine insignia of the spirit blest!
Then MILTON smiles serene, a beauteous shade,
In worth augustin lust'rous fires array'd.
Immortal SHAKSPERE gleams across the sight,
Rob'd in ethereal vest of radiant light.
Wing'd Ages picture to the dazzled view
Each mark'd perfectionof the sacred few,
POPE, DRYDEN, SPENSER, all that Fame shall raise,
From CHAUCER'S gloomtill MERRY'S lucid days:
Then emulation kindles fancy's fire,
The glorious throng poetic flights inspire;
Each sensate bosom feels the god-like flame,
The cherish'd harbinger of future fame.
Yet timid genius, oft in conscious ease,
Steals from the world, content the few to please:
Obscur'd in shades, the modest Muse retires,
While sparkling vapours emulate her fires.
The proud enthusiast shuns promiscuous praise,
The Idiot's smile condemns the Poet's lays.
Perfection wisely courts the lib'ral few,
The voice of kindred genius must be true.
But empty witlings sate the public eye
With puny jest and low buffoonery,
The buzzing hornets swarm about the great,
The poor appendages of pamper'd state;
The trifling, flutt'ring insects of a day,
Flit near the sun, and glitter in its ray;
Whose subtle fires with charms magnetic burn,
Where every servile fool may have his turn.
Lull'd in the lap of indolence, they boast
Who best can fawnand who can flatter most;
While with a cunning arrogance they blend
Sound without senseand wit that stabs a friend;
Slanders obliquethat check ambition's toil,
The pois'nous weeds, that mark the barren soil.
So the sweet blossoms of salubrious spring
Thro the lone wood their spicy odours fling;
Shrink from the sun, and bow their beauteous heads
To scatter incense o'er their native beds,
While coarser flow'rs expand with gaudy ray,
Brave the rude wind, and mock the burning day.
Ah! gentle Muse, from trivial follies turn,
Where Patriot souls with god-like passions burn;
Again to MERRY dedicate the line,
So shall the envied boast of taste be thine;
So shall thy song to glorious themes aspire,
"Warm'd with a spark" of his transcendent fire.
Thro' all the scenes of Nature's varying plan,
Celestial Freedom warms the breast of man;
Led by her daring hand, what pow'r can bind
The boundless efforts of the lab'ring mind.
The god-like fervour, thrilling thro' the heart,
Gives new creation to each vital part;
Throbs rapture thro' each palpitating vein,
Wings the rapt thought, and warms the fertile brain;
To her the noblest attributes of Heav'n,
Ambition, valour, eloquence, are giv'n.
She binds the soldier's brow with wreaths sublime,
From her, expanding reason learns to climb,
To her the sounds of melody belong,
She wakes the raptures of the Poet's song;
'Tis god-like Freedom bids each passion live,
That truth may boast, or patriot virtue give;
From her, the Arts enlighten'd splendours own,
She guides the peasantShe adorns the throne;
To mild Philanthropy extends her hand,
Gives Truth pre-eminence, and Worth command;
Her eye directs the path that leads to Fame,
Lights Valour's torch, and trims the glorious flame;
She scatters joy o'er Nature's endless scope,
Gives strength to Reasonextacy to Hope;
Tempers each pang Humanity can feel,
And binds presumptuous Power with nerves of steel;
Strangles each tyrant Phantom in its birth,
And knows no titlebut SUPERIOR WORTH.
Enlighten'd Gallia! what were all your toys,
Your dazzling splendoursyour voluptuous joys ?
What were your glitt'ring villaslofty tow'rs,
Your perfum'd chambers, and your painted bow'rs ?
Did not insidious Art those gifts bestow,
To cheat the prying eyewith tinsel show ?
Yes; luxury diffus'd her spells to bind
The deep researches of the restless mind ?
To lull the active soul with witching wiles,
To hide pale Slav'ry in a mask of smiles:
The tow'ring wings of reason to restrain,
And lead the victim in a flow'ry chain:
Cold Superstition favour'd the deceit,
And e'en Religion lent her aid to cheat,
When warlike LOUIS, I arrogant and vain,
Whom worth could never hold, or fear restrain;
The soul's last refuge, in repentance sought,
An artful MAINTENON absolv'd each fault;
She who had led his worldly steps astray,
Now, "smooth'd his passage to the realms of day!"
O, monstrous hypocrite!who vainly strove
By pious fraud, to win a people's love;
Whose coffers groan'd with reliques from the proud,
The pompous off'rings of the venal crowd,
The messy hecatombs of dire disgrace,
To purchase titles, or secure a place.
And yetso sacred was the matron's fame,
Nor truth, nor virtue, dar'd assail her name;
None could approach but with obsequious breath,
To smile was TREASONand to speak was DEATH.
In meek and humble garb, she veil'd command,
While helpless millions shrunk beneath her hand.
And when Ambition's idle dream was o'er,
And art could blind, and beauty charm no more;
She, whose luxurious bosom spurn'd restraint,
Who liv'd the slave of passiondied a saint ! I
What were the feelings of the hapless throng,
By threats insulted, and oppress'd with wrong ?
While grasping avarice, with skill profound,
Spread her fell snares, and dealt destruction round;
Each rising sun some new infringement saw,
While pride was consequenceand pow'r was law;
A people's suff'rings hop'd redress in vain,
Subjection curb'd the tongue that dar'd complain.
Imputed guilt each virtuous victim led
Where all the fiends their direst mischiefs spread;
Where, thro' long ages past, with watchful care,
THY TYRANTS, GALLIA, nurs'd the witch DESPAIR.
Where in her black BASTILE the harpy fed
On the warm crimson drops, her fangs had shed;
Where recreant malice mock'd the suff'rer's sigh,
While regal lightnings darted from her eye.
Where deep mysterious whispers murmur'd round,
And death stalk'd sullen o'er the treach'rous ground.
O DAYtranscendent on the page of Fame !
When from her Heav'n, insulted Freedom came;
Glancing o'er earth's wide space, her beaming eye
Mark'd the dread scene of impious slavery,
Warm'd by her breath, the vanquish'd, trembling race,
Wake from the torpid slumber of disgrace.;
Rous'd by oppression, Man his birth-right claims,
O'er the proud battlements red vengeance flames;
Exulting thunders rend the turbid skies;
In sulph'rous clouds the gorgeous ruin lies!
The angel, PITY, now each cave explores,
Braves the chill damps, and fells the pond'rous doors,
Plucks from the flinty walls the clanking chains,
Where many a dreadful tale of woe remains,
Where many a sad memorial marks the hour,
That gave the rights of man to rav'nous pow'r;
Now snatch'd from death, the wond'ring wretch shall prove
The rapt'rous energies of social love;
Whose limbs each faculty deniedwhose sight
Had long resign'd all intercourse with light;
Whose wasted form the humid earth receiv'd,
Who numb'd with anguishscarcely felt he liv'd;
Who when the midnight bell assail'd his ears,
From fev'rish slumbers woketo drink his tears:
While slow-consuming grief each sense enthrall'd,
'Till Hope expir'd, and Valour shrunkappall'd:
Where veil'd suspicion lurk'd in shrewd disguise,
While eager vengeance op'd her thousand eyes;
While the hir'd slave, the fiend of wrath, design'd
To lash, with scorpion scourges, human-kind
Dragg'd with ingenious pangs, the tardy hour,
To feed the rancour of insatiate Pow'r.
Blest be the favor'd delegates of Heav'n,
To whose illustrious souls the task was giv'n
To wrench the bolts of tyrannyand dare
The petrifying confines of despair;
With Heav'n's own breeze to cheer the gasping breath,
And spread broad sun-shine in the caves of death.
What is the charm that bids mankind disdain
The Tyrant's mandate, and th' Oppressor's chain;
What bids exulting Liberty impart
Extatic raptures to the Human Heart;
Calls forth each hidden spark of glorious fire,
Bids untaught minds to valiant feats aspire;
What gives to Freedom its supreme delight ?
'Tis Emulation, Instinct, Nature, Right.
When this revolving Orb's first course began,
Heav'n stamp'd divine pre-eminence on man;
To him it gave the intellectual mind,
Persuasive Eloquence and Truth refin'd;
Humanity to harmonize his sway,
And calm Religion to direct his way;
Courage to tempt Ambition's lofty flight,
And Conscience to illume his erring sight.
Who shall the nat'ral Rights of Man deride,
When Freedom spreads her fost'ring banners wide ?
Who shall contemn the heav'n-taught zeal that throws
The balm of comfort on a Nation's woes ?
That tears the veil from superstition's eye,
Bids despots tremble, scourg'd oppression die ?
Wrests hidden treasure from the sordid hand,
And flings profusion o'er a famish'd land ?
Nor yet, to GALLIA are her smiles confin'd,
She opes her radiant gates to all mankind;
Sure on the peopled earth there cannot be
A foe to Libertythat dares be free.
Who that has tasted bliss will e'er deny
The magic power of thrilling extacy ?
Who that has breath'd Health's vivifying breeze,
Would tempt the dire contagion of Disease ?
Or prodigal of joy, his birth-right give
In shackled slaverya wretch to live ?
Yet let Ambition hold a temp'rate sway,
When Virtue rules'tis Rapture to obey;
Man can but reign his transitory hour,
And love may bindwhen fear has lost its pow'r.
Proud may he be who nobly acts his part,
Who boasts the empire of each subject's heart,
Whose worth, exulting millions shall approve,
Whose richest treasureIS A NATION'S LOVE.
Freedom, blithe Goddess of the rainbow vest,
In dimpled smiles and radiant beauties drest,
I court thee from thy azure-spangled bed
Where Ether floats about thy winged head;
Where tip-toe pleasure swells the choral song,
While gales of odour waft the Cherub throng;
On every side the laughing loves prepare
Enamel'd wreaths to bind thy flowing hair:
For thee the light-heel'd graces fondly twine,
To clasp thy yielding waist, a zone divine !
Venus for thee her crystal altar rears,
Deck'd with fresh myrtlegemm'd with lovers tears;
Apollo strikes his lyre's rebounding strings,
Responsive notes divine Cecilia sings,
The tuneful sisters prompt the heavenly choir,
Thy temple glitters with Promethean fire.
The sacred Priestess in the centre stands,
She strews the sapphire floor with flow'ry bands.
See ! from her shrine electric incense rise;
Hark ! "Freedom" echoes thro' the vaulted skies.
The Goddess speaks! O mark the blest decree,
TYRANTS SHALL FALL, TRIUMPHANT MAN BE FREE!
Golfre, Gothic Swiss Tale
Where freezing wastes of dazzl'ing Snow
O'er LEMAN'S Lake rose, tow'ring;
The BARON GOLFRE'S Castle strong
Was seen, the silv'ry peaks among,
With ramparts, darkly low'ring!--
Tall Battlements of flint, uprose,
Long shadowing down the valley,
A grove of sombre Pine, antique,
Amid the white expanse would break,
In many a gloomy alley.
A strong portcullis entrance show'd,
With ivy brown hung over;
And stagnate the green moat was found,
Whene'er the Trav'ller wander'd round,
Or moon-enamour'd Lover.
Within the spacious Courts were seen
A thousand gothic fancies;
Of banners, trophies, armour bright,
Of shields, thick batter'd in the fight,
And interwoven lances.
The BARON GOLFRE long had been
To solitude devoted;
And oft, in pray'r would pass the night
'Till day's vermillion stream of light
Along the blue hill floated.
And yet, his pray'r was little mark'd
With pure and calm devotion;
For oft, upon the pavement bare,
He'd dash his limbs and rend his hair
With terrible emotion!
And sometimes he, at midnight hour
Would howl, like wolves, wide-prowling;
And pale, the lamps would glimmer round--
And deep, the self-mov'd bell would sound
A knell prophetic, tolling!
For, in the Hall, three lamps were seen,
That quiver'd dim;--and near them
A bell rope hung, that from the Tow'r
Three knells would toll, at midnight's hour,
Startl'ing the soul to hear them!
And oft, a dreadful crash was heard,
Shaking the Castle's chambers!
And suddenly, the lights would turn
To paly grey, and dimly burn,
Like faint and dying embers.
Beneath the steep, a Maiden dwelt,
The dove-eyed ZORIETTO;
A damsel blest with ev'ry grace--
And springing from as old a race--
As Lady of LORETTO!
Her dwelling was a Goatherds poor;
Yet she his heart delighted;
Their little hovel open stood,
Beside a lonesome frowning wood.
Yet oft, at midnight when the Moon
Its dappled course was steering,
The Castle bell would break their sleep,
And ZORIETTO slow would creep--
To bar the wicket--fearing!
What did she fear? O! dreadful thought!
The Moon's wan lustre, streaming;
The dim grey lamps, the crashing sound,
The lonely Bittern--shrieking round
The roof,--with pale light gleaming.
And often, when the wintry wind
Loud whistled o'er their dwelling;
They sat beside their faggot fire
While ZORIETTO'S aged Sire
A dismal Tale was telling.
He told a long and dismal Tale
How a fair LADY perish'd;
How her sweet Baby, doom'd to be
The partner of her destiny
Was by a peasant cherish'd!
He told a long and dismal Tale,
How, from a flinty Tow'r
A Lady wailing sad was seen,
The lofty grated bars between,
At dawnlight's purple hour!
He told a Tale of bitter woe,
His heart with pity swelling,
How the fair LADY pin'd and died,
And how her Ghost, at Christmas-tide--
Would wander,--near her dwelling.
He told her, how a lowly DAME
The LADY, lorn, befriended--
Who chang'd her own dear baby, dead,
And took the LADY'S in its stead--
And then--"Forgive her Heav'n! " He said,
And so, his Story ended.
As on the rushy floor she sat,
Her hand her pale cheek pressing;
Oft, on the GOATHERD'S face, her eyes
Would fix intent, her mute surprize--
In frequent starts confessing.
Then, slowly would she turn her head,
And watch the narrow wicket;
And shudder, while the wintry blast
In shrilly cadence swiftly past
Along the neighb'ring thicket.
One night, it was in winter time,
The Castle bell was tolling;
The air was still, the Moon was seen,
Sporting, her starry train between,
The thin clouds round her rolling.
And now she watch'd the wasting lamp,
Her timid bosom panting;
And now, the Crickets faintly sing,
And now she hears the Raven's wing
Sweeping their low roof, slanting.
And, as the wicket latch she clos'd,
A groan was heard!--she trembled!
And now a clashing, steely sound,
In quick vibrations echoed round,
Like murd'rous swords, assembled!
She started back; she look'd around,
The Goatherd Swain was sleeping;
A stagnate paleness mark'd her cheek,
She would have call'd, but could not speak,
While, through the lattice peeping.
And O! how dimly shone the Moon,
Upon the snowy mountain!
And fiercely did the wild blast blow,
And now her tears began to flow,
Fast, as a falling fountain.
And now she heard the Castle bell
Again toll sad and slowly;
She knelt and sigh'd: the lamp burnt pale--
She thought upon the dismal Tale--
And pray'd, with fervour holy!
And now, her little string of beads
She kiss'd,--and cross'd her breast;
It was a simple rosary,
Made of the Mountain Holly-tree,
By Sainted Father's blest!
And now the wicket open flew,
As though a whirlwind fell'd it;
And now a ghastly figure stood
Before the Maiden--while her blood
Congeal'd, as she beheld it!
His face was pale, his eyes were wild,
His beard was dark; and near him
A stream of light was seen to glide,
Marking a poniard, crimson-dyed;
The bravest soul might fear him!
His forehead was all gash'd and gor'd--
His vest was black and flowing
His strong hand grasp'd a dagger keen,
And wild and frantic was his mien,
Dread signs of terror, showing.
"O fly me not!" the BARON cried,
"In HEAV'N'S name, do not fear me!"
Just as he spoke the bell thrice toll'd--
Three paly lamps they now behold--
While a faint voice, cried,--"HEAR ME!"
And now, upon the threshold low,
The wounded GOLFRE, kneeling,
Again to HEAV'N address'd his pray'r;
The waning Moon, with livid glare,
Was down the dark sky stealing.
They led him in, they bath'd his wounds,
Tears, to the red stream adding:
The haughty GOLFRE gaz'd, admir'd!
The Peasant Girl his fancy fir'd,
And set his senses, madding!
He prest her hand; she turn'd away,
Her blushes deeper glowing,
Her cheek still spangled o'er with tears
So the wild rose more fresh appears
When the soft dews are flowing!
Again, the BARON fondly gaz'd;
Poor ZORIETTO trembled;
And GOLFRE watch'd her throbbing breast
Which seem'd, with weighty woes oppress'd,
And softest LOVE, dissembled.
The GOATHERD, fourscore years had seen,
And he was sick and needy;
The BARON wore a SWORD OF GOLD,
Which Poverty might well behold,
With eyes, wide stretch'd, and greedy!
The dawn arose! The yellow light
Around the Alps spread chearing!
The BARON kiss'd the GOATHERD'S child--
"Farewell!" she cried,--and blushing smil'd--
No future peril fearing.
Now GOLFRE homeward bent his way
His breast with passion burning:
The Chapel bell was rung, for pray'r,
And all--save GOLFRE, prostrate there--
Thank'd HEAV'N, for his returning!
Three times the orient ray was seen
Above the East cliff mounting,
When GOLFRE sought the Cottage Grace
To share the honours of his race,
With treasures, beyond counting!
The Ev'ning Sun was burning red;
The Twilight veil spread slowly;
While ZORIETTO, near the wood
Where long a little cross had stood,
Was singing Vespers holy.
And now she kiss'd her Holly-beads,
And now she cross'd her breast;
The night-dew fell from ev'ry tree--
It fell upon her rosary,
Like tears of Heav'n twice bless'd!
She knelt upon the brown moss, cold,
She knelt, with eyes, mild beaming!
The day had clos'd, she heard a sigh!
She mark'd the dear and frosty sky
With starry lustre gleaming.
She rose; she heard the draw-bridge chains
Loud clanking down the valley;
She mark'd the yellow torches shine
Between the antique groves of Pine--
Bright'ning each gloomy alley.
And now the breeze began to blow,
Soft-stealing up the mountain;
It seem'd at first a dulcet sound--
Like mingled waters, wand'ring round
Slow falling from a fountain.
And now, in wilder tone it rose,
The white peaks sweeping, shrilly:
It play'd amidst her golden hair
It kiss'd her bosom cold and fair--
And sweet, as vale-born Lily!
She heard the hollow tread of feet
Thridding the piny cluster;
The torches flam'd before the wind--
And many a spark was left behind,
To mock the glow-worm's lustre.
She saw them guard the Cottage door,
Her heart beat high with wonder!
She heard the fierce and Northern blast
As o'er the topmost point it past
Like peals of bursting thunder!
And now she hied her swift along
And reach'd the guarded wicket;
But O! what terror fill'd her soul,
When thrice she heard the deep bell toll--
Above the gloomy thicket.
Now fierce, the BARON darted forth,
His trembling victim seizing;
She felt her blood, in ev'ry vein
Move, with a sense of dead'ning pain,
As though her heart were freezing.
"This night," said he, "Yon castle tow'rs
"Shall echo to their centre!
"For, by the HOLY CROSS, I swear,"--
And straight a CROSS of ruby glare
Did through the wicket enter!
And now a snowy hand was seen
Slow moving, round the chamber
A clasp of pearl, it seem'd to bear--
A clasp of pearl, most rich and rare!
Fix'd to a zone of amber.
And now the lowly Hovel shook,
The wicket open flying,
And by, the croaking RAVEN flew
And, whistling shrill, the night-blast blew
Like shrieks, that mark the dying!
But suddenly the tumult ceas'd--
And silence, still more fearful,
Around the little chamber spread
Such horrors as attend the dead,
Where no Sun glitters chearful!
"Now JESU HEAR ME!" GOLFRE cried,
"HEAR ME," a faint voice mutter'd!
The BARON drew his poniard forth--
The Maiden sunk upon the earth,
And--"Save me Heav'n!" she utter'd.
"Yes, Heav'n will save thee," GOLFRE said,
"Save thee, to be MY bride!"
But while he spoke a beam of light
Shone on her bosom, deathly white,
Then onward seem'd to glide.
And now the GOATHERD, on his knees,
With frantic accent cried,
"O! GOD forbid! that I should see
"The beauteous ZORIETTO, be
"The BARON GOLFRE'S bride!
"Poor Lady! she did shrink and fall,
"As leaves fall in September!
"Then be not BARON GOLFRE'S bride--
"Alack! in yon black tow'r SHE died--
"Full well, I do remember!"
"Oft, to the lattice grate I stole
"To hear her, sweetly singing;
"And oft, whole nights, beside the moat,
"I listen'd to the dying note--
"Till matin's bell was ringing.
"And when she died! Poor Lady dear!
"A sack of gold, she gave,
"That, masses every Christmas day
"Twelve bare-foot Monks should sing, or say,
"Slow moving round her Grave.
"That, at the Holy Virgin's shrine
"Three Lamps should burn for ever--
"That, ev'ry month, the bell should toll,
"For pray'rs to save her Husband's soul--
"I shall forget it, never!"
While thus he spoke, the BARON'S eye
Look'd inward on his soul:
For He the masses ne'er had said--
No lamps, their quiv'ring light had shed,
No bell, been taught to toll!
And yet, the bell did toll, self-mov'd;
And sickly lamps were gleaming;
And oft, their faintly wand'ring light
Illum'd the Chapel aisles at night,
Till MORN'S broad eye, was beaming.
The Maid refus'd the BARON'S suit,
For, well she lov'd another;
The angry GOLFRE'S vengeful rage
Nor pride nor reason could assuage,
Nor pity prompt to smother.
His Sword was gone; the Goatherd Swain
Seem'd guilty, past recalling:
The BARON now his life demands
Where the tall Gibbet skirts the lands
With black'ning bones appalling!
Low at the BARON'S feet, in tears
Fair ZORIETTO kneeling,
The Goatherd's life requir'd;--but found
That Pride can give the deepest wound
Without the pang of feeling.
That Pow'r can mock the suff'rer's woes
And triumph o'er the sighing;
Can scorn the noblest mind oppress'd,
Can fill with thorns the feeling breast
Soft pity's tear denying.
"Take me," she cried, "but spare his age--
"Let me his ransom tender;
"I will the fatal deed atone,
"For crimes that never were my own,
"My breaking heart surrender."
The marriage day was fix'd, the Tow'rs
With banners rich were mounted;
His heart beat high against his side
While GOLFRE, waiting for his bride,
The weary minutes counted.
The snow fell fast, with mingling hail,
The dawn was late, and louring;
Poor ZORIETTO rose aghast!
Unmindful of the Northern blast
And prowling Wolves, devouring.
Swift to the wood of Pines she flew,
Love made the assignation;
For there, the sov'reign of her soul
Watch'd the blue mists of morning roll
Mound her habitation.
The BARON, by a Spy appriz'd,
Was there before his Bride;
He seiz'd the Youth, and madly strew'd
The white Cliff, with his steaming blood,
Then hurl'd him down its side.
And now 'twas said, an hungry wolf
Had made the Youth his prey:
His heart lay frozen on the snow,
And here and there a purple glow
Speckled the pathless way.
The marriage day at length arriv'd,
The Priest bestow'd his blessing:
A clasp of orient pearl fast bound
A zone of amber circling round,
Her slender waist compressing.
On ZORIETTO'S snowy breast
A ruby cross was heaving;
So the pale snow-drop faintly glows,
When shelter'd by the damask rose,
Their beauties interweaving!
And now the holy vow began
Upon her lips to falter!
And now all deathly wan she grew
And now three lamps, of livid hue
Pass'd slowly round the Altar.
And now she saw the clasp of pearl
A ruby lustre taking:
And thrice she heard the Castle bell
Ring out a loud funereal knell
The antique turrets shaking.
O! then how pale the BARON grew,
His eyes wide staring fearful!
While o'er the Virgin's image fair
A sable veil was borne on air
Shading her dim eyes, tearful.
And, on her breast a clasp of pearl
Was stain'd with blood, fast flowing:
And round her lovely waist she wore
An amber zone; a cross she bore
Of rubies--richly glowing.
The Bride, her dove-like eyes to Heav'n
Rais'd, calling Christ to save her!
The cross now danc'd upon her breast;
The shudd'ring Priest his fears confest,
And benedictions gave her.
Upon the pavement sunk the Bride
Cold as a corpse, and fainting!
The pearly clasp, self-bursting, show'd
Her beating side, where crimson glow'd
Three spots, of nature's painting.
Three crimson spots, of deepest hue!
The BARON gaz'd with wonder:
For on his buried Lady's side
Just three such drops had nature dyed,
An equal space asunder.
And now remembrance brought to view,
For Heaven the truth discloses,
The Baby, who had early died,
Bore, tinted on its little side,
Three spots--as red as roses!
Now, ere the wedding-day had past,
Stern GOLFRE, and his Bride
Walk'd forth to taste the ev'ning breeze
Soft sighing, mid the sombre trees,
That drest the mountain's side.
And now, beneath the grove of Pine,
Two lovely Forms were gliding;
A Lady, with a beauteous face!
A Youth with stern, but manly, grace
Smil'd,--as in scorn deriding.
Close, by the wond'ring Bride they pass'd,
The red Sun sinking slowly:
And to the little cross they hied--
And there she saw them, side by side,
Kneeling, with fervour holy.
The little cross was golden ting'd
The western radiance stealing;
And now it bore a purple hue,
And now all black and dim it grew,
And still she saw them, kneeling.
White were their robes as fleecy snow
Their faces pale, yet chearful.
Their golden hair, like waves of light
Shone lust'rous mid the glooms of night;
Their starry eyes were tearful.
And now they look'd to Heav'n, and smil'd,
Three paly lamps descended!
And now their shoulders seem'd to bear
Expanding pinions broad and fair,
And now they wav'd in viewless air!
And so, the Vision ended.
Now, suddenly, a storm arose,
The thunder roar'd, tremendous!
The lightning flash'd, the howling blast
Fierce, strong, and desolating, past
The Altitudes stupendous!
Rent by the wind, a fragment huge
From the steep summit bounded:
That summit, where the Peasant's breast
Found, mid the snow, a grave of rest,
By GOLFRE'S poniard wounded.
Loud shrieks, across the mountain wild,
Fill'd up the pause of thunder:
The groves of Pine the lightning past,
And swift the desolating blast
Scatter'd them wide asunder.
The Castle-turrets seem'd to blaze,
The lightning round them flashing;
The drawbridge now was all on fire,
The moat foam'd high, with furious ire,
Against the black walls dashing.
The Prison Tow'r was silver white,
And radiant as the morning;
Two angels' wings were spreading wide,
The battlements, from side to side--
And lofty roof adorning.
And now the Bride was sore afraid,
She sigh'd, and cross'd her breast;
She kiss'd her simple rosary,
Made of the mountain holly-tree,
By sainted Fathers blest.
She kiss'd it once, she kiss'd it twice;
It seem'd to freeze her breast;
The cold show'rs fell from ev'ry tree,
They fell upon her rosary
Like nature's tears, "twice blest!"
"What do you fear?" the BARON cried--
For ZORIETTO trembled--
"A WOLF," she sigh'd with whisper low,
"Hark how the angry whirlwinds blow
"Like Demons dark assembled.
"That WOLF! which did my Lover slay!"
The BARON wildly started.
"That Wolf accurs'd!" she madly cried--
"Whose fangs, by human gore were died,
"Who dragg'd him down the mountain's side,
"And left me--Broken hearted!"
Now GOLFRE shook in ev'ry joint,
He grasp'd her arm, and mutter'd
Hell seem'd to yawn, on ev'ry side,
"Hear me!" the frantic tyrant cried--
"HEAR ME!" a faint voice utter'd.
"I hear thee! yes, I hear thee well!"
Cried GOLFRE, "I'll content thee.
"I see thy vengeful eye-balls roll--
"Thou com'st to claim my guilty soul--
"The FIENDS--the FIENDS have sent thee!"
And now a Goatherd-Boy was heard--
Swift climbing up the mountain:
A Kid was lost, the fearful hind--
Had rov'd his truant care to find,
By wood-land's side--and fountain.
And now a murm'ring throng advanc'd,
And howlings echoed round them:
Now GOLFRE tried the path to pace,
His feet seem'd rooted to the place,
As though a spell had bound them.
And now loud mingling voices cried--
"Pursue that WOLF, pursue him!"
The guilty BARON, conscience stung,
About his fainting DAUGHTER hung,
As to the ground she drew him.
"Oh! shield me Holy MARY! shield
"A tortur'd wretch!" he mutter'd.
"A murd'rous WOLF! O GOD! I crave
"A dark unhallow'd silent grave--"
Aghast the Caitiff utter'd.
"'Twas I, beneath the GOATHERD'S bed
"The golden sword did cover;
"'Twas I who tore the quiv'ring wound,
"Pluck'd forth the heart, and scatter'd round
"The life-stream of thy Lover."
And now he writh'd in ev'ry limb,
And big his heart was swelling;
Fresh peals of thunder echoed strong,
With famish'd WOLVES the peaks among
Their dismal chorus yelling!
"O JESU Save me!" GOLFRE shriek'd--
But GOLFRE shriek'd no more!
The rosy dawn's returning light
Display'd his corse,--a dreadful sight,
Black, wither'd, smear'd with gore!
High on a gibbet, near the wood--
His mangled limbs were hung;
Yet ZORIETTO oft was seen
Prostrate the Chapel aisles between--
When holy mass was sung.
And there, three lamps now dimly burn,--
Twelve Monks their masses saying;
And there, the midnight bell doth toll
For quiet to the murd'rer's soul--
While all around are praying.
For CHARITY and PITY kind,
To gentle souls are given;
And MERCY is the sainted pow'r,
Which beams thro' mis'ry's darkest hour,
And lights the way,--TO HEAVEN!