damaged Poems.

Anne Bannerman.

Printed by Mundell & Son, Royal Bank Close;
for Mundell & Son Edinburgh; and Longman & Rees,
and J. Wright, London.

π1v π2r

To Robert Anderson, M.D.

Launch’d on that gulfy ſea, whoſe reſtleſs tide,

The myriad voices of Opinion guide;

Amid the warring waves and tempeſt’s roar,

With eye reverting to the parted ſhore,

This one faint tribute to that Mind I pay,

Whoſe friendſhip ſmooth’d the perils of the way;

To youth’s unſteady breaſt deciſion brought,

Calm’d the rude fear, and nerv’d the timid thought:

—Nor will thine eye, which trac’d the halo’d blaze

Around the altars of departed days!

Mark’d the firſt beams of genius quiver bright

Thro’ the long miſt of ages and of night!

π2v iv

Turn from the page, where no attendant Power

Breath’d inſpiration in his tranced hour:

—Yet tho’ no light from heav’n hath wak’d to day

The immortal ſhell, impervious to decay;

If one faint murmur of the trembling ſtrings

Arreſt fair Poeſy’s receding wings;

Round the weak chords attract the tranſient flame;

’Tis all I hop’d to gain—and all I claim.

A. Bannerman.

Edinburgh, 1800-02-22Feb. 22. 1800.

The Genii.



Addreſs to the Genii—Their exiſtence before the formation of the world —Their power over the elements—Their palaces in the centre of the earth, in the mines of Potoſi—Their operation in earthquakes—Earthquake at Lima—Malignant influence of the Genii on domeſtic happineſs—Addreſs to the beneficent ſpirits of the air—Excurſions of the Genii to the frigid and torrid zones—Power of the Genii over water— Whirlpool of Maelſtrom—Dead ſea off Cape Verde—Abodes of the Genii in the Pacific Ocean—Negro-diving—Preſence of the Genii at the Deluge—Power of the Genii in air—In fire—Their Burning Iſland—Mount Hecla—Final deſtruction of the Genii by fire.


The Genii.

Yes! ’twas your thunder—Awful Genii, hail!

Who, thron’d in terrors, ride the Siroc gale,

Whoſe fires in Ætna’s ſulph’rous boſom glow,

Whoſe cold, on Arctic rocks, congeals the ſnow;

By your dread taliſmans of fearful force,


Thro’ earth and air, you wing your vent’rous courſe;

Mov’d by their touch, the portals of the ſkies

Reveal their glories to your wond’ring eyes;

In every ſea, diſpart the foaming waves,

And yield their treaſures, from their deepeſt caves;


The gloomy demons of the mines obey,

And Ocean’s ſpirits own your ſov’reign ſway.

Ere ſprung the world from Chaos’ dreary bound,

And the bright planets wheel’d their placid round,

Gigantic maſters of the realms of night!


No fair proportions met your ſullen ſight;

A2 A2v 4

In frightful ſtate, the dark abyſs you trod,

And held, in chaſm’d cells, your drear abode;

Till the green earth, in laviſh beauty gay,

Spread her ſweet verdure to the new-born day;


When ſhone the hills, beneath the ſolar beam,

And the moon trembled in the twilight ſtream;

You firſt beheld the earlieſt flow’rets blow,

And purple tinges on the concave glow,

Heard the faint flutter of the ſummer breeze,


When firſt it ſported on the curling ſeas.

Firm on its central baſe, when nature ſtood,

And Power Omniſcient found that all was good,

In this fair region, you poſſeſs’d the throne,

And o’er its varied climates reign’d alone.


Short was your triumph. When the Son of Heaven,

The earth’s wide ſhores to his dominion giv’n,

In godlike innocence, in Eden’s bower,

Aſſum’d the enſigns of imperial power,

Scowling, you fled:—the ſwelling ocean gave


Her cells to ſhroud, and op’d the clifted cave.

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—But, when that awful hour of terror came,

Which ſtain’d the honours of a heavenly name,

When Man retreated from his Maker’s eye,

To hide in deepeſt gloom his head—and die:


—Well pleas’d you heard earth’s ſolid centre reel,

When the bright angel And the Lord placed at the eaſt of the garden of Eden cherubims, and a flaming ſword which turned every way. Gen. Chap. III. graſp’d the flaming ſteel;

Your ſpells regaining their primeval ſway,

Again you ſaw the elements obey;

Again you thunder’d with triumphant ire,


And ſhook the maſs with ſubterraneous fire;

Firm in unconquer’d ſtrength, your hands uptore

The rooted rocks, and rent the fartheſt ſhore.

Yes, fateful powers! your awful years diſplay

No feeble pageant of the paſſing day:


The lapſe of ages has beheld you tower

Above the monuments of human power;

Alike in land, and ſea, and air, and fire,

To rule ſupreme, your daring ſouls aſpire;

A3 A3v 6

As fancy wills, you rear the pillar’d dome,


In earth’s deep caverns, or in ocean’s foam,

Hang your tranſparent temples high in air,

Or to the realms of flame, your glory bear.

Hark ! to the muſic of the echoing lyre,

The mighty pillars of the earth retire;


The long-extending palaces unfold

Their glitt’ring thrones, Abudah, in the morning, when he awaked, was ſurpriſed at an unusual glitter around him; and looking more ſtedfaſtly, he found the tree wherein he ſat to be of pure gold; and the leaves of ſilver, with fruit like rubies hanging in cluſters from the branches. On every ſide appeared the moſt glorious palaces that could be conceived. Trees, and ſhrubs of ſilver and gold, met his eye, growing almoſt viſibly about him. Talisman of Oromanes. Tales of the Genii. and canopies of gold.

Incluſter’d diamonds, on the loaded ſpray,

In changing colours, meet the orient ray;

The burning ruby gives his bluſhing power,


To deck the gorgeous wreath, and ſilver bower.

—All powerful Genii! ye, who, rulers here,

May ſpurn the riches of another ſphere,

From mounts of gold you lead, thro’ many a ſoil,

And many a winding road, the ſhining ſpoil;

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From cumb’ring clay the precious ore refine,

To form the treaſures of the dreary mine.

Ere Spain’s tremendous and unpitying hoſt

Led death and ſlaughter to the weſtern coaſt,

Ere the vaults echoed to the miner’s moan,


You fill’d Potoſi’s ſilver-beaten throne:

From their dark channels, in refulgent pride,

Unfading light the blazing gems ſupplied;

Pure were the balmy gales, like thoſe that play

Around the footſteps of the vernal day.


Then ſlept your vengeance; every breath was ſtill;

No earthquakes thunder’d your relentleſs will;

Till thirſt of gain allur’d the ſpoilers feet,

To ſtain the luſtre of your favorite feat.

Hark the loud axe! where’er the ponderous ſtroke


Waves its firm ſtrength, the maſſy bars unlock,

Unwearied crowds the lofty pillars rend;

A paſſage form’d, they enter, and deſcend.

Unmov’d you ſtand, while terror-working ſpells

Bring hideous ſpectres from their yawning cells,

90 A4 A4v 8

To brew the blaſt, whoſe peſtilential breath

May ſweep for ever thro’ the caves of death;

That the ſame rock, whoſe rifted channels gave

The envied ore, might alſo yield a grave.

Imperious kings! when darkneſs ſhrouds the ſkies,


And the huſh’d city ſunk in ſlumber lies,

Beneath the earth your maſſy engines play,

And tremulous motions ſcatter cold diſmay;

The affrighted victims, rous’d from ſoft repoſe,

By the dim twilight, ſee the earth diſcloſe,


With ſound of thunders, her unfathom’d caves,

And the rent ocean toſs his furious waves.

—Lo! where the frantic mother, claſping wild

To her quick-heaving heart her ſleeping child,

On ſome torn fragment of the ſhatter’d wall,


Awaits the ſhock, ſo ſoon to level all.

Such was the dreadful ſcene, when fell the blow

That laid the glitt’ring pride of Lima low;

When he, who, terror-ſtruck upon the tower,

The ſea receding with convulſive power,

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Heard the loud craſh, that told th’impending doom,

When the earth open’d, for a general tomb,

And ſaw the mountain-wave’s returning force

Whelm ſpires and temples, in its ſweeping courſe.

As wild he gaz’d, where Callao’s The eruption of the ſea, during the earthquake at Lima, entirely ſwept away the neighbouring port-town of Callao. The ſingular circumſtance of the preſervation of only one man, who eſcaped by means of a boat, is mentioned by ſome authors who record the event. Though, from a narrative publiſhed at Lima, there appears to have been nearly two hundred, who ſaved themſelves on planks, which the wreck of veſſels, torn from their anchorage in the harbour, threw in their way. See Relation of the Earthquake at Lima.—London 17481748. turrets rear’d


Their ſhining glories, and no trace appear’d,

Death’s ſullen ſpectre ſcowling by his ſide,

Lo! driv’n infuriate o’er the gloomy tide,

A boat appears; his frozen pulſes beat,

When the wild billow throws it at his feet;


The love of life all thrilling in his breaſt,

He ſprings to reach it, and he ſinks oppreſt;

And ſcarce can bleſs, while riding on the wave,

The hand benign, that ſnatch’d him from the grave.

A5 A5v 10

Tremendous Genii! not alone you reign


O’er the wild elements, and ſtormy main,

Pervade the ſubtile air’s myſterious frame,

Or ſcatter horror from volcanic flame;

But, in an humbler range, your hands deſtroy

The bliſsful image of domeſtic joy.


Say, powerful rulers! your unchanging days

Exiſt uninjur’d, while the earth decays,—

Has ever pity view’d your ſtarting tear,

Where faithful friendship wept on virtue’s bier?

Where love’s fond eye, ere yet the ſpirit flew,


Beam’d every bleſſing in the laſt adieu?

—Heav’d not your hearts, as wild on Tunis’ plain,

The grateful Hamet tore For the ſtory of Hamet, ſee Hiſtory of Sandford and Merton, by Mr. Day. the captive’s chain,

And madly ſtrain’d, to agony oppreſs’d,

His youthful ſaviour to his ſwelling breaſt!


Ah no!—Mark yon pale mourner fit to cheer,

While every ſmile of anguiſh hides the tear,

A6r 11

The hapleſs maniac, thro’ the ling’ring day;

No heart-wrung ſighs her agonies betray.

—Oft, as her faded eyes begin to trace


Each alter’d feature of that long-lov’d face,

Thoſe eyes, where ſmiles of joy no longer glow,

That heart ſerene ’mid agonizing woe,

Ah! then her ſtifled feelings ſpurn control,

And tears of keeneſt pain unbidden roll.


Benignant ſpirits! ye, who range the air,

And bind the wounds of ſublunary care!

Who, calm at eve on ſilver clouds reclin’d,

Inhale the fragrance of the ſummer wind,

Deſcend!—Your angel ſmiles will chaſe away


The ſtorms that ſhake the tenements of clay.

—O! let your aid the ſinking ſpirit raiſe

To higher objects, and ſublimer days!

In midnight ſlumbers, to the fancy bring

Elyſian bowers, and an eternal ſpring,


With love congenial to the mind convey

What golden glories wake the heavenly day,

A6 A6v 12

What rapt’rous joys the hallow’d ſoul impreſs

With full enjoyment, and unmingled bliſs!

—Say, tho’ the boaſt of human pride is o’er,


And hope extinguiſh’d, to revive no more,

That life eternal ſhall repair the woe,

And ſoothe the memory of the ſcenes below;

—Say, that, inveſted with a purer frame,

The ſoul unchang’d ſhall ever be the ſame,


Shall turn to every friend, with guardian care,

And ſoothe, and ſoften, when their hearts deſpair;

—Say, that the parted ſoul ſhall pierce the gloom,

Which lowrs tremendous o’er the ſullen tomb,

And come by night, the meſſenger of peace,


To ſpeak of joys, that never ſhall decreaſe.

O ye dark Genii! can your magic charms,

In Stygian darkneſs form’d, and drear alarms;

Can all the pomp of univerſal ſway

One throb of rapture to your hearts convey?


No! while the powers of deſolation wait

Upon your footſteps, miniſters of fate,

A7r 13

Beneath thoſe ſkies, where Boreal tempeſts roll

O’er the long twilight of the deſert pole:

Unſeen and fearleſs, you delight to go,


O’er hills of frozen earth, and wreaths of ſnow;

To mark the ſheeted ice, by whirlwinds toſt,

Deſcend, in ſplinter’d heaps, upon the coaſt;

Or, far at ſea, when floating maſſes urge

Their gelid mountains o’er the troubled ſurge,


You give command: the ſtormy billows roar,

And daſh the mighty mounds upon the ſhore.

Swell’d by the flakes of ever-falling ſnows,

Their icy bulk no diſſolution knows;

Still their high tops, the ſame cold terrors wear,


And chill, thro’ many a mile, the ambient air

All hail, terrific kings! whoſe giant throne,

From the bleak pole, extends thro’ every zone!

Beneath the burning line, your feet have trac’d

The unknown horrors of the Lybian waſte:


Expanding ſhores have met your piercing ſight,

That long have ſlept, in undiſcover’d night.

A7v 14

Involving woods, impervious to the day,

Where the keen tyger ſhuns the noon-tide ray,

Whence, proudly ſpurning his paternal den,


The noble lion ſeeks the haunts of men,

Purſues his way, thro’ ſolitary lands,

Where Gambia revels on his golden ſands,

Drinks the ſweet freſhneſs of the cooling wave,

And digs his dwelling in the deepeſt cave.


Scarce has his dreadful voice, along the coaſt,

Defy’d the proudeſt of th’ embattled hoſt,

When a wild troop his lonely den ſurround,

With ſhining javelins, pointed to the ground.

Sullen he comes, and, to their gleaming arms,


Shakes his long main, unconſcious of alarms;

With frightful roarings, and indignant ire,

While his eyes ſparkle, like conſuming fire;

On the proud leader of the band he flies,

And, in his mighty graſp, the victim dies!


With frantic fury now he turns around,

His fierce front fever’d with the frequent wound;

A8r 15

The motion giv’n, the intrepid phalanx meet,

And lay the kingly tyrant at their feet,

His monſt’rous fangs, unclench’d in death, ſurvey,


And boaſt the terrors of the perilous day;

With ſhouts victorious bear their glory home,

And wave th’ impurpl’d ſpear, o’er conqueſts yet to come.

Ye powerful Genii! while your glance ſurveys

The polar night alike, and tropic blaze,


You guide the world of waters, as you will,

Expend the billows, or the channels fill;

Smooth the dead ſurface, or the whirlwind urge,

To toſs, above the cliff, the mountain ſurge.

Far in the coral caves, where ocean keeps


The long unrifled treaſures of the deeps,

On thrones of burning gems, you rule below,

And hear above th’ undreaded tempeſts blow;

The waves ſubmitted to your proud control,

In pomp ſublime, you reſt, while ages roll.


But, when dark fury ſways, with lightning ſpell

You drag the tempeſt from its channel’d cell,

A8v 16

With ſouls unmov’d ſurvey, and gloomy joy,

Its fateful progreſs, rapid to deſtroy.

Thus, where dark Maelſtrom’s furious torrents boil,


Round the rough marge Round the moiſt marge of each cold Hebrid iſle. Collins. of Moſkoe’s fearful iſle,

When ebbs the flood, the turning current forms

Its rapid vortex, and avenging ſtorms.

Deep from beneath, you thunder at the ſource,

And lend the whirlpool its deſtructive force;


The black’ning waves in circling eddies wheel,

And the dark caverns to their centre reel.

Meantime, upriſing from his giant cave,

His huge bulk laſhing the reſounding wave,

The mighty monarch of the northern ſea,


Caught by the current, ſtruggles to be free;

With frightful cries, Whales are frequently carried into the vortex of Maelſtrom, and the moment they feel the force of the water, they ſtruggle againſt it with all their might, howling in a frightful manner. and frantic with deſpair,

He flings his montſtrous water-ſpouts in air;

In the dread circle of the gulf of death,

Yet, yet he rallies his decaying breath;

260 A9r 17

The raging ſurge his firmeſt effort mocks,

And the wild whirlwind drives him on the rocks;

Like the loud cataract, the billows roar;

Awhile he ſtruggles—and is ſeen no more.

In that dead ſea, which not a breath deforms,


No ſweeping whirlwinds, or internal ſtorms,

You rule, terrific maſters of the deep!

And the huſh’d waves in ſullen ſilence keep.

What horror thrills the mariner, to feel

A death-like calm arreſt his ſtiffen’d keel;


In vain he watches for th’ accuſtom’d gale,

To move the bark, or fill the flagging ſail;

In vain he hopes, while gloom obſcures the day,

The coming blaſt will drive him on his way;

The clouds diſtend; and, rapid from the ſkies,


Deſcend the rains, but not a zephyr flies.

Above, the lightning’s ſheeted flames illume

The darken’d ſkies, and pierce the thick’ning gloom.

O ye ſoft ſpirits of the fluid air!

From heav’n’s high arch, the fav’ring breezes bear,

280 A9v 18

In the lock’d ſurges move the ſecret ſprings,

And o’er the ocean wave your dewy wings.

Your power prevails; the grateful pilot hails

The wind’s firſt breath, and ſpreads the ſwelling ſails;

Swift to his breaſt the flame of hope returns;


Again he guides the helm, the veſſel turns.

Malignant tyrants! with vindictive ire,

The ocean heaving as your ſteps retire,

You trace the bark along the yielding main,

And ſmile, indignant—where your power was vain.


Hence, like the lightning’s flaſh, you rapid ſweep

O’er the wild waters of the Atlantic deep,

Thro’ the long courſe of Orellana run,

To climes illumin’d by their parent fun;

Where, o’er Pacific ſeas, the tempeſts blow,


You rear your coral palaces below;

On cryſtal pedeſtals the emeralds raiſe,

And bid the ſapphires on their ſummits blaze.

Your wat’ry reign no wanderer annoys,

Nor dares you deep retreats, or gloomy joys,

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Save the poor Negro, The Spaniards employ their negro ſlaves in diving for pearls, along the coaſt of Terra Firma, and particularly in the Bay of Panama. on his dangerous way,

Thro’ the deep caverns of Panama’s bay,

While the black billows thro’ their fiſſures ſwell,

From fractur’d rocks to wreſt the pearly ſhell.

As o’er the cliffs, he holds his ſlippery road,


To drag the treaſures from their dark abode,

Your jealous eyes, tremendous rulers! ſpy

The fated victim you have doom’d to die.

Thus, when, all fainting with the tedious toil,

His weak frame loaded with the fever’d ſpoil,


He ſprings on high the ſurface to regain,

Repair his ſinking ſtrength, and breathe again;

From ſome wild gulf, that pours the ſweeping ſtorm,

The furious ſhark uprears his ſcaly form,

In awful hunger, rolls his flaming eyes;


The luckleſs ſufferer turns, and ſhrieks, and dies.

Myſterious witneſſes of ages paſt!

When darkneſs veil’d the illimitable vaſt,

A10v 20

You ſaw the expanding And God ſaid, let there be a firmament in the midſt of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. Gen. Chap. I. firmament divide

The waſte of waters from the ocean’s tide;


And, when the voice of heav’n, on ev’ry ſhore,

Bade the wide vengeance of the Deluge pour, That ſame day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth, and all the high hills that were under the heaven were covered. Gen. Chap. VII.

When heav’d the billows from their loweſt bed,

And hills tumultuous from their places fled,

Far, far below, you heard the waters riſe,


With ſounds, like ruſhing torrents, to the ſkies:

Deep, while Omnipotence in thunder ſpoke,

And ev’ry mountain trembled at the ſhock;

Not unappal’d, you felt the rocks divide,

And, their deep channels rending by your ſide,


With ſinking hearts, you turn’d to ev’ry ſound,

When the loud thunderbolt upheav’d the ground;

The tow’ring cliffs in thouſand fragments ſpread,

Till ſpoke the Eternal, And God made a wind to paſs over the earth, and the waters aſſuaged. Gen. Chap. VIII. and the waters fled.

A11r 21

—You ſaw the earth emerge, the hills return,


Like life reviving from the recent urn;

The ſwelling ſeas regain their diſtant ſhores,

And baffled Plenty renovate her ſtores;

You ſtood ſecure, and triumph’d at the ſight,

And bleſs’d again the ſun, and hail’d the light.


Swift as the wind, impetuous powers! you fly

Thro’ all the regions of the vaulted ſky

Thro’ keeneſt air, and clouds of frozen hail,

Beneath the burning ſun, and ſcorching gale;

Thro’ the wide courſe of many a circling ſphere,


No power oppoſing your ſublime career.

Regents of ſpace! you range thro’ worlds unknown,

Where Saturn, freezing with his pallid zone,

While his dim moons, in feeble luſtre gleam,

Turns his huge ſurface to the diſtant beam.


—What is the lonely gloom of nights like ours,

When on the polar ſhores the winter lowrs,

—What is the darkneſs of our darkeſt caves,

Or the blaſt daſhing on Norwegian waves

2 A11v 22

—What are the dreams, that prompt our midnight fears,


To the long horrors of a night of years?

Ye ſullen rulers! while your eyes behold

Suns ever burning, on their thrones of gold,

Unnumber’d ſpheres their bliſsful ſeats diſcloſe,

And worlds where ſpirits of the juſt repoſe,


How muſt the knowledge of your meaner joy

Heave your hard hearts, and all your hours annoy,

Correct your triumph, as you proudly tower,

In ſpace unlimited, ſupreme in power!

Dread kings! when earth, and air, and ocean tire,


Your ſpells can penetrate the realms of fire.

—Amid th’ Antarctic wind’s eternal toil,

You hide the ſummits of your The iſland was now diſcovered, and in the midſt of it a huge mountain, whoſe ſummit reached far above the fleeting clouds, where a volcano vomited forth a deluge of liquid fire, with terrible roarings and a mighty ſound, as of winds burſting from the deep caverns of the earth.—The glowing deluge deſcended down the mountain, in a ſheet of fire, and, ruſhing violently into the ſea, drove back the affrighted waves in dreadful hiſſes from its ſurface; and, for a long time, preſerved its fiery courſe beneath the waters that foamed above it. Sadak.Tales of the Genii. burning iſle;

Far, far around, the affrighted waves retire

Before your torrents of diſſolving fire;

370 A12r 23

The glowing ſtream beneath the billow plays,

And the green ocean glitters in the blaze.

Or to that coaſt, where wilder tempeſts ſweep,

In the cold breaſt of Iceland’s ſnowy deep,

When freezing winter bids the ſun diſown


The ſkies, to revel on his tropic throne;

You ride, undaunted, on the whirlwind’s wings,

And Hecla opens to receive her kings.

—What lakes ſulphureous, at her centre, frame

The eternal deluges of liquid flame!


What giant wheels the founding engines turn!

What gleaming furnaces forever burn!—

Thro’ mines unknown, and dreary gulfs you glide,

Where boiling Geyſer throws her fiery tide,

In ſpouting torrents, from unnumber’d ſprings,


While deep below, the frequent earthquake rings

Or to the confines of the Nile you bear

On wings of death, the ſuffocating air;

With clouds of moving ſand, impetuous driv’n,

Involve the azure canopy of heav’n:

390 A12v 24

All life arreſting with its ſcorching breath,

You lend the gale your magazines of death.

Imperious rulers! dare you ſtill aſpire

To wield the ſceptre of the realms of fire?

That ardent element, you conquer now,


Whoſe meaner deities before you bow,

Shall, for your ruin, all its force combine,

To ſweep from nature’s face your dreadful line.

Thro’ rolling ages, and the tide of time,

In ſtrength uninjur’d, piercing, and ſublime,


Your eyes ſhall ſtretch along the track of day,

And ſcan its glories,—till they all decay.

—But, when the ſkies ſhall glow, in living fire,

Your powers, your terrors, and your ſpells expire;

Your reign is finiſh’d, when, from ſhore to ſhore,


The ſeraph’s trump reveals, that Time ſhall be no more.


Verses On An Illumination for a Naval Victory.

B B1v
Quels traits me préſentent vos faſtes, Impitoyables conquerans? —Des murs, que la flamme ravage, —Des vainqueurs, fumans de carnage, Un peuple au fér abandonné. Juges inſenſés que nous ſommes, Nous admirons de tels exploits. J. B. Rousseau.

Verses on an Illumination.

Hark! ’tis the note of joy; the trumpet’s voice

Swells in the wind, and bids the world rejoice;

From ſtreet to ſtreet, in artificial light,

The blaze of torches glitters on the night;

Loud peals of triumph rend the ſtartled ſky:


Rejoice; it is the ſhout of victory!

Rejoice o’er thouſands in untimely graves;

Rejoice! for Conqueſt rides the crimſon’d waves.

Is this a time for triumph and applauſe,

When ſhrinking Nature mourns her broken laws?


Wide o’er the bloody ſcene, while glory flies

To heap the pile of human ſacrifice;

Hid in ſome dark retreat, the widow weeps

Her heart’s beſt treaſure buried in the deeps;

The frantic mother’s cries of Heaven implore


Some youthful warrior—ſhe ſhall meet no more:

B2 B2v 28

From the firſt beam, that wakes the golden day,

To ling’ring twilight’s melancholy ray,

No reſpite comes, their breaking hearts to cheer,

Or, from the fount of miſery, ſteal a tear!


Rough as the ſtorm that rends the icy ſeas,

Th’ uncultur’d ſavage ſpurns the arts of peace;

Impell’d by hatred, and revenge his guide,

He leaves A ſingle warrior, prompted by caprice or revenge, will take the field alone, and march ſeveral hundred miles to ſurpriſe and cut off a ſtraggling enemy. Rob. Hist. Amer. Vol. II. his native mountain’s ſhelt’ring ſide,

Thro’ trackleſs deſerts holds his bloody way,


With toil unwearied, thro’ the tedious day;

At night, repoſing on the blaſted heath,

In dreams, his fancy points the ſtroke of death,

Exults horrific o’er his proſtrate foe,

And aims anew the viſionary blow.


Starting he wakes: afar he ſees a form,

Half-viewleſs, ſtalking thro’ the miſty ſtorm;

Nearer he comes; his frantic eye-balls glare,

And yells inhuman ring along the air:

B3r 29

They meet, engage; affrighted Nature flies;

A fearful darkneſs dims the low’ring ſkies;

Revenge beſide them points th’ envenom’d ſtings,

And murder ſhrouds them, with his gory wings!

Accurs’d the deed! the Sons of Europe cry,

While the tear ſtarting, trembles in their eye;


Yes! ye may boaſt, from feeling’s ſource ſublime,

That milder mercy gilds your favour’d clime;

With eager joy, you bid oppreſſion ceaſe,

And lull the jarring univerſe to peace!

Alas! Humanity would ſhroud the ſight,


And wrap Deſtruction in his native night;

With breaſts begirt with ſteel, in dread array,

The glitt’ring legions flaſh upon the day;

Brothers in Science, at the trumpet’s ſound,

Like dæmons meet, and ſcatter death around.


Unmov’d they ſtand, and view the living tide

Pour, with a torrent’s force, on every ſide.

On Andes’ cliffs, untutor’d Murder low’rs,

But all its keener, deadlier arts—are ours.

B3 B3v 30

O! could ſome Spirit, from the fields of day,


To this fair planet wing his vent’rous way,

Inhale the freſhneſs of the vernal breeze,

And mark the ſun, reflected in the ſeas,

View where, abundant, on a thouſand ſhores,

The waving harveſts yield their golden ſtores;


Gay Beauty ſmiling in the ſweets of morn,

The op’ning violet, and the flow’ring thorn,

Th’ expanding fields of every varied hue,

And the clear concave of unclouded blue!

Then let Him ſtand, where hoſtile armies join,


By the red waters of the ruſhing Rhine,

Amid thick darkneſs, hear the trumpets blow,

And the laſt ſhriek of Nature quiver low,

Mark the full tide of Deſolation ſpread,

And count, at eve, the dying and the dead:


How would he pauſe! How ſeek, in vain, to find

Some trace, in Man, of an immortal mind;

Man, who can glory in a ſcene like this,

Yet look to brighter worlds, for endleſs bliſs!

B4r 31

O! for a lodge, O! for a lodge in ſome vaſt wilderneſs, Some boundleſs contiguity of ſhade. Cowper’sTask. where Peace might love to dwell,


In ſome ſequeſter’d, ſolitary dell!

Some fairy iſle, beyond the Southern wave,

Where War ne’er led his victims to the grave;

Where, mid the tufted groves, when twilight pale

Peoples with ſhadowy forms the dewy dale,


The lone Enthuſiaſt, wrapt in trance ſublime,

Might ſoar, unfetter’d by the bounds of time,

Might baſk in Fancy’s reign, where ſcenes appear

Of blooms perpetual, thro’ the vernal year;

Where heav’nly odours ſcent the zephyr’s wing,


And fruits and flow’rs, in wild luxuriance ſpring!

Such were the dreams, that ſooth’d the penſive breaſt,

And lull’d the ſoul to viſionary reſt.

Such were the ſcenes, the poet’s fancy drew,

While Rapture hail’d the moments, as they flew:


Till mad Ambition bade the battle rage,

And Man with Man eternal warfare wage

B4 B4v 32

Ah! did our years thro’ circling ages flow,

Or Fate ſecure the heart from private woe;

Did ſtrength for ever in the arm reſide,


Or the firm frame retain its youthful pride;

The eye that ſaw th’ embattled hoſts extend,

Might alſo hope to ſee their diſcord end;

The heart, which Sorrow never taught to feel,

Might point, with ſurer aim, th’ avenging ſteel:


Ah! when a few ſhort years have roll’d away,

The foes ſhall reſt, unjarring, in the clay.

The Tartar-Chief, expiring on the plain,

Amid the multitudes his arm has ſlain,

Yields his fierce ſoul, ere half his years are run,


And ends his fiery courſe, when ſcarce begun.

The poliſh’d youth, whom Europe rears to arms,

And glory flatters, with deceitful charms,

Chills each fine impulſe of the glowing ſoul,

And, preſſing onward to the laurel’d goal,


Forgets that feeling ever warm’d his breaſt,

Or Pity pleaded for the heart oppreſt.

B5r 33

All hail, ye joys! to genuine feeling dear,

The heart’s warm tranſport, and the guſhing tear!

Welcome the ſigh, from pity’s altar ſtole,


Ye calm the tumult of the troubled ſoul.

O! on whatever ſhore, by fortune caſt,

My ſhatter’d boſom finds a home at laſt;

Whatever ills, in ſorrow’s ample reign,

May wring my heart, with aggravated pain;


Still, at thoſe hours, when, huſh’d in deep repoſe,

The happy loſe their joys, the ſad their woes,

May fancy lead me to the deſert ſteep,

Stupendous frowning o’er the ſullen deep;

To hear the ſhip-wreck’d mariner deplore


His doom relentleſs, on the rocky ſhore!

Even when the winds their awful fury urge,

And, heap’d like mountains, rave the foaming ſurge,

Leſs dread the terrors of the turbid main,

Than Carnage, ſtalking o’er th’ enſanguin’d plain!


And ye, who, bending o’er the untimely urn,

Will ſee nor joy, nor happineſs return;

B5 B5v 34

Thro’ your chang’d homes, who wildly ſeek in vain

For thoſe who ſlumber in the ſtormy main;

May piercing anguiſh ſpare his arrows keen,


And pity ſoothe you, as ye weep unſeen!

May peace pervade, where faithful ſorrow reigns,

And charm the grief, that not an eye profanes!

Ah! think, tho’ ling’ring years unbleſt decay,

To troubled night ſucceeds untroubled day!


Time’s feeble barrier bounds the painful courſe,

But joy ſhall reign, eternal as its ſource.


The Nun.

B6 B6v For the origin of the following poem, ſee a Drama, entitled Cecile, ou le Sacrifice de l’Amitié, in Madam Genlis’s Theatre of Education, Vol. II. To remove the only obſtacle to a ſiſter’s marriage, Cecilia gives up her patrimony, and retires to take the vows in a convent of Provence; but, previouſly to her profeſſion, a fortune is left her by a relation. This reſtores her to the world. In the following pages, the ſtory is ſo far altered, that the heroine completes her ſacrifice. It may be objected, that the regret, and almoſt intolerable miſery, which ſucceed it, are wholly inconſiſtent with a mind capable of such exalted generoſity. But, let it be remembered, that, in a moment of enthuſiaſm, we may do what we will repent for ever. B7r

The Nun.

Yes! it is done; the frightful conflict’s o’er;

And peace is fled,—to viſit me no more.

Immur’d for ever in this living tomb,

How my ſoul ſickens at her hated doom!

—Ye darkſome caverns, mis’ry’s black abode,


Where tears of anguiſh praiſe th’ ccccinſulted God;

Ye waving pines, that brave the midnight air,

To you I breathe the accents of deſpair,

On your deaf ear the tale of ſorrow pour,

Till death ſhall bring to all my woes—a cure.


Eternal friendſhip! dare I turn mine eyes

To thy pure ſhrine, yet mourn the ſacrifice?

O! ſiſter of my ſoul! I ſeek you here;

In vain I ſeek you, thro’ the caverns drear;

Falſely I triumph’d, when I bade adieu


To ſocial life, to happineſs,—to you.

B7v 38

Tho’ on my face deluſive pleaſure ſhone,

And peace ſat, ſmiling, on a falling throne,

While not a pang betray’d internal ſmart,

The ſcorpion anguiſh ſtung me to the heart.


Ne’er ſhall the hour, with keeneſt horror fraught,

By time be baniſh’d from my aching thought,

When clos’d the maſſy gates, with hollow ſound,

And lock’d me, ſhuddering, in their dreary bound.

Transfix’d with agony’s convulſive dart,


No guſh of ſorrow eas’d my ſwelling heart.

Theſe walls, I cried, I never paſs again:

And nature ſhiver’d through each chilly vein.

Grim as the grave, before my troubled eyes

I ſaw the giant form of terror riſe;


Breathleſs I liſten’d for ſome cheering ſound;

And the wind howl’d the vaulted caves around.

Ye frowning cliffs, whoſe hoary tops ſublime

For ever mock the ravages of time!

When the wild tempeſt ſweeps each awful height,


And warring elements convulſe the night,

B8r 39

In all the tearleſs horror of deſpair,

I turn, to witneſs deſolation there:

Sullen, I trace the lightnings, as they fly,

And hail the thunder’s ſtroke, that rends the ſky;


I hear the Var re-bellow to his ſource,

And bleſs the heaving ſtorm’s tyrannic force.

The groaning exile, mid Siberian ſnows,

Feels diſtant freedom cheer ſurrounding woes;

Weary and faint, at eve, his ſhivering form


Suſtains the fury of the polar ſtorm;

To guide him on his way, no glimmering light,

With ray benignant, breaks the gloom of night;

No faithful partner, breathleſs with her fears,

Welcomes the wand’rer, with a flood of tears,


To lull his ſick’ning ſpirit to repoſe,

Around, horrific, howl his ſhaggy foes.

Still fancy dreams, for hope aſſiſts her flight,

Of scenes far diſtant, of renew’d delight;

Again, with rapture’s ſwelling tide oppreſs’d,


He claſps his children to his burning breaſt,

B8v 40

Again he ruſhes to a friend’s embrace,

And feels the big tears bathe his grief-worn face:

—The pathleſs deſert, lock’d in endleſs froſt,

The long long proſpect of the ſhipleſs coast,


Forgotten all; fair freedom’s magic power

Can lull his ſorrows, in their fierceſt hour;

A few ſhort months to drag the iron chain,

And triumph leads him to the world again.

But me, no hope ſhall ſoothe, no time releaſe,


No promis’d freedom give me back my peace.

Should theſe dim walls, theſe galling fetters bind,

In endleſs ſlav’ry, the reluctant mind?

No! Heaven’s immortal light ſhall ſhine on thoſe,

Whoſe lips ne’er utter what their hearts oppoſe;


For them ſhall Piety, on ſeraph wings,

Waft bliſs unmingled, from Elyſian ſprings;

Huſh’d at the midnight hour to balmy reſt,

Their guiltleſs ſouls commingle with the bleſt;

By rapture borne, they pierce incumbent night,


And lave in yielding ſeas of liquid light.

B9r 41

Me, heav’n diſclaims—while, ſtupified with woes,

I mourn for ever, o’er my loſt repoſe.

Have I not bath’d, bewilder’d with my fears,

Its ſpotleſs altar with unceaſing tears?


Yes! Conſcience, ſtrike; thy fierceſt ſting prepare,

And bring diſtraction, to relieve deſpair.

To yonder diſtant wood of ſhadowy pine,

When peace, and health, and liberty, were mine,

Oft have I wander’d, penſive, to behold


The ſun departing tinge the clouds with gold:

Wrapt in the muſic of the ſighing wind,

All joys alike, and ſorrows left behind,

My ſoul, unconſcious of her earthly frame,

Has kindled rapture at devotion’s flame:


Or, in the mimic woes that fancy drew,

I heard affection ſigh the laſt adieu;

I trac’d the ſpirit to her native ſkies;

And tears of mix’d emotion dim’d mine eyes.

Thro’ the dark grating of my caſement low,


I mark the ſinking ſun’s impurpled glow;

B9v 42

I ſee the groves in all their beauty ſhine;

They charm no more,—but, ah! the change is mine.

And thou, for whom my faithful love reſign’d

Each glowing viſion of a youthful mind;


To ſave whoſe peace, I gave my own away,

And chas’d from life each pleaſurable ray!

Could thy fond eye this midnight cell explore,

Theſe walls re-echoing to the torrent’s roar;

How wouldſt thou mourn, that, yielding to my pray’r,


Thou gav’ſt thy ſiſter to eternal care!

—Methinks I hear thee at my fate rejoice,

And bleſs the quiet of my hallow’d choice.

And be it ſo!—How can I thus repine,

While peace, and eaſe, and liberty, are thine?


Are thou not dearer to this aching breaſt,

Than joy, and freedom, happineſs, and reſt?

O! ſpare me, heaven! my fainting frame ſuſtain;

The pray’r of miſery can ne’er be vain:

To fear, remorſe, and agony, a prey,


Why is my boſom torn, from day to day?

B10r 43

Why will thy miniſters, with cruel art,

Tear its laſt ſhelter from a broken heart?

Pure was the awful ſacrifice it made;

Hard fate impos’d the taſk, and friendſhip paid.


Ah! had it falter’d, leſs ſeverely firm,

And, trembling, ſhudder’d at the firſt alarm,

To ſelfiſh joy confin’d its fervent glow,

What guilt had ſpar’d its peace, what laſting woe!

Proud that I was! I bade my ſoul aſpire,


And catch from heav’n the animating fire,

In virtue’s race th’ eternal path purſue,

Nor ſaw I follow’d, but as feeling drew.

Thine is this cheek, where grief’s untimely tears

Have worn the furrows of autumnal years:


Thine is this ceaſeleſs ſtorm, that rends my ſoul,

And drives ſick reaſon to diſtraction’s goal:

O! mid the varied woes, that heap thy ſhrine,

May none e’er pay an offering like mine!

May none e’er covet thy bewitching joys!


Hard is the purchaſe, and unwiſe the choice

B10v 44

One bliſsful tear thro’ rapture’s channel flows,

And thouſands ſtream o’er wounds which never cloſe.

Oft have my ſleepleſs eyes, at early morn,

Mark’d the firſt dew-drop glitter on the thorn,


And trac’d, on Ocean’s breaſt, the quiv’ring ray,

Whoſe dubious light proclaims the King of Day:

Immortal verdure crowns the waving woods,

And, clear as chryſtal, guſh the whit’ning floods,

Celeſtial balm from ev’ry flow’r exhales,


And Heav’n’s pure breath perfumes the ſummer gales.

On me, they blow in vain: No breath divine

Can charm the horrors of a fate like mine.

Alas! while all around, in freedom gay,

Exult, unfetter’d, in the face of day,


In this dim ſepulchre I hide my head;

The gloom, but not the quiet of the dead:

And view, for thouſands ſhare my lot ſevere,

How mad the aims of human kind appear!

Ah! could they think, while commerce crowds their ſhores,

With ev’ry diff’rent clime’s exhauſtleſs ſtores,

156 B11r 45

While all the arts their varied powers combine,

To laviſh gifts on cultivation’s ſhrine,

That He, whoſe mercy gave this earthly ball,

With plenty ſtor’d, impartially, to all,


Will weigh, in equal balance, ev’ry ſoul,

From Afric’s deſerts to the freezing pole:

One tear of anguiſh wip’d from miſ’ry’s eye,

One heave, reſponſive to the ſufferer’s ſigh,

Will raise their owner’s unobtruſive name

Above the proudeſt boaſt of mortal fame.

But what have I to do, intomb’d below,

And drinking to the dregs the cup of woe,

To paint their bliſs, to whom the hand of heav’n,

The glorious power of doing good has giv’n!


Once I had hop’d,—this boſom then was warm,

And life had many a tie, and many a charm;

Once I had wiſh’d,—gay Hope his pinions ſpread;

I turn’d to graſp;—the heavenly viſion fled.

What tho’ the ſoul, indignant, ſpurn her chain,

And fly, uncurb’d thro’ fancy’s wide domain;

B11v 46

To real life, at laſt, her flight muſt come,

And flutter round the happy ſcene of home.

Yes! ye dank cells, o’ergrown with hoary mould,

The only home I ever ſhall behold!


To you I come, from ſkies of cloudleſs light,

From ſcenes of pure and ever-gay delight.

—Here, as I ſit and weep, unheard, unknown,

Save while the echoes give me back my moan,

My weary ſpirit ſeeks another ſcene,


Nor bars, nor chains, can interpoſe between.

Far o’er the boſom of th’ Atlantic waves,

Where fierce, thro’ trackleſs wilds, the tempeſt raves,

Unpoliſh’d nature holds her throne ſublime,

And rears the children of her fav’rite clime;


Wild as the deſolate, uncultur’d ſoil,

She ſtrings each nerve, to vigour and to toil;

Fearleſs, amid the unfathom’d gulfs, they play,

Or, thro’ the ſwampy fens, explore their way,

Trace the fierce cataract to its foaming ſource,


Nor aſk a partner, in their dang’rous courſe;

B12r 47

Alone the ſavage ſtands:—His giant ſoul,

Indignant, mocks the ſhadow of control;

Each ſofter glow his boſom ſcorns to own;

He reſts enjoyment on himſelf alone.


To hearts leſs callous, ſouls of ſofter form,

Within the circle of the Arctic ſtorm,

I turn, to Iceland’s melancholy ſhore,

And ſigh, that liberty is mine no more.

Pale from his wint’ry cave, the native braves


The rattling tumult of the craſhing waves,

Unwearied, till the light’s departing ray

Flings her long ſhadows on the wat’ry way;

Swift thro’ the icy heaps, with daring keel,

He drives his boat againſt the diving ſeal.


Or when, outſtretch’d upon the frozen deep,

He marks the ſhaggy bear, in awful ſleep,

Shudd’ring, he winds along the ice-pil’d rock,

And whelms his cruel foe, with mortal ſtroke.

At night, returning to his ſhelt’ring cave,


Affection hails him, weary from the wave.

1 B12v 48

Within, contentment cheers the happy ſcene,

Prompts the ſweet ſmile, and ſmooths the brow ſerene,

Hard and laborious tho’ his lot may be,

Still, ſtill, his heart can tell him—he is free!


On Europe’s plains, I reſt my wearied eyes;

Yes! light celeſtial gilds the favour’d ſkies.

Each finer feeling of the ennobled mind,

Each thought, by ſcience and by taſte refin’d,

Each purer enterpriſe, to virtue dear,


And all the arts of poliſh’d life, are here.

Here too, religion rears the mimic tomb,

And ſhrouds the ſuff’rer in a dungeon’s gloom;

Enwrapt in ſuperſtition’s iron chains,

How the blood ruſhes thro’ my ſhivering veins!


The ſick’ning ſpirit wears the powers away,

Which genius kindled with his brighteſt ray.

Miſtruſt and guile, in every frightful cell,

Uſurp the place, where piety ſhould dwell;

The heart, affection ſooth’d with many a tear,


By harſhneſs broken, end its ſorrows here.

2 C1r 49

Hark! mingling with the ſhrill wind’s riſing ſwell,

Slow ſteal the chimings of the veſper-bell;

Rous’d from diſturb’d repoſe, with ling’ring feet,

The pallid Siſters in affliction meet;


Trembling they kneel the midnight ſhrine before,

While tears, in torrents, from their eye-lids pour.

Are theſe ſad hearts, by hopeleſs anguiſh riv’n,

The welcome incenſe of approving Heav’n?

O Power Eternal! while, thine arm ſuſtains


This ample world, and yonder ſtarry plains;

Shall man, with impious hand, thy mercy bind,

And rule at pleaſure o’er an equal mind;

Throughout the bleeding earth extend his fame,

And ſhield his crimes beneath thine awful name?


’Twas here, in former times, religion pour’d

The blood of thouſands on the inſatiate ſword:

And now, ev’n now, upon a ſiſter ſhore,

How long, humanity! ſhalt thou deplore

That dread tribunal, horror’s darkeſt cave,


Where ruthleſs murder heaps the midnight grave?

C C1v 50

But here muſt nature pauſe;—the arm of time

May root theſe terrors from the groaning clime;

May tear from ſuperſtition’s torturing hand,

The bloody enſigns of her black command;


Call the pale victims to the light of day,

To peace, to mercy’s tolerating ſway.

Meantime, like ſome ſad wreck, by tempeſts blown,

Forlorn and deſolate, I ſtand alone.

—O’er the wild deep, the heaving veſſel rides,


Around, deſtruction heaps the adverſe tides;

Till the ſunk rock receives the fated prey,

And ruin ſtalks upon the wat’ry way.

The dream is o’er!—within my troubled breaſt,

The graſp of pain unlocks the gates of reſt.


I feel, while nature ſtems the burning tide,

Thro’ every vein the deadly poiſon glide.

O Death! what dark and melancholy muſe

Has hung thine altar with unhallow’d yews?

Bring every flower, that ſcents the ſouthern ſkies,


Or glows in beauty of unnumber’d dyes,

C2r 51

With deathleſs amaranth the wreath entwine;

Theſe grateful hands ſhall deck th’ unheeded ſhrine.

How oft, when ling’ring twilight’s welcome ray

Has clos’d the circle of a tedious day;


To-morrow’s fun, my ſwelling ſpirit cries,

May wing thee, happy, to unclouded ſkies,

May ſee thee ſhelter’d from the ſtorms of time,

And ſooth’d to laſting peace, in bliſs ſublime.

Thus, in thoſe manſions of relentleſs toils,


Whence nature, ſhudd’ring at the ſight, recoils;

The wretched miner hails the ſwift decay,

That, inly working, ſteals his life away.

—Hark! the loud voice of tyrrany appals,

And his faint frame to endleſs labour calls;


As ſlow he moves, the rifted rocks below,

Where peſtilential gales for ever blow,

Sudden, before his dim and leſs’ning ſight,

Deſcend the thick’ning ſhades of deepeſt night;

C2 C2v 52

O’er his pale front, the vapour’s mortal breath


Spreads the laſt hectic, and the dews of death.

He ſinks—The quiv’ring ſpirit tow’rs away,

And meets the ſplendour of eternal day.



C3 C3v C4r

Ode I.

The Spirit of the Air.


Be huſh’d, ye angry winds, that ſweep,

Reſiſtleſs, o’er the polar coaſt:

Thou ſwell’ſt no more, tremendous deep!

I lock thee in eternal froſt.

My will ſupreme, mine awful ſway,

The earth, the air, the ſea obey;

My glance pervades the realms of ſpace;

Each hidden ſpring, this arm can trace;

O’er all the proſtrate world my power extends,

Alike on Zembla’s ice, on Zaara’s burning ſands.


Amid the lightning’s forky flame,

While, driven on high, the billows roll;

’Tis mine to looſe the ſtruggling frame,

And mine to ſoothe the parting ſoul:

C4 C4v 56

I come, on viewleſs winds reclin’d,

To cheer the wretch, whom fetters bind,

To cruſh the oppreſſor’s giant creſt,

To hurl deſtruction on his breaſt,

Amid the ſpoils his abject ſoul adores;

And trembling earth recoils along her utmoſt ſhores.


What form is that, half-hid in air,

Round whoſe pale brow the torrents roar?

’Tis Freedom! mark her deep deſpair;

She points to Afric’s bleeding ſhore.

Hark! what a groan!—with horror wild,

I ſee the mother claſp her child;

My ſon, my ſon! ſhe madly cries;—

Spare, monſters, ſpare her agonies.—

Too late, for, rapid, to the veſſel’s ſide

She flies, and, plunging, ſinks beneath the billowy tide.


Proceed unmov’d, ye men of blood!

Your courſe along the waters urge;

C5r 57

No winds ſhall vex the unruffled flood,

Nor toſs on high the deaf’ning ſurge.

Now, for your happy homes prepare;

But, curb your joy, I meet you there.

Then, as your friends, your infant race,

Ruſh wildly to your fond embrace,

Before your eyes a ghaſtly form ſhall ſtand,

And o’er her infant weep, and wave her beck’ning hand.


Fierce thro’ the deſert’s frightful ſand,

When Cancer rules the burning day,

The Arab leads his daring band,

Exulting on their perilous way.

Prepare, he cries, prepare for war:

Mark yonder ſandy cloud afar;

We ſhare the blood, we ſhare the toil,

And we ſhall ſhare the glorious ſpoil;

Collect your courage, now the foe is nigh;

Victorious, we return;—ſubdued, revenge and die.

C5 C5v 58


But, vengeful, on the ruſhing wind,

I come to toſs the ſandy waves;

To whelm the ſpoilers of their kind,

Inglorious, in untimely graves.

Yon livid flame, that flings on high

Its terrors thro’ the redd’ning ſky;

Glares on your van, in awful ſtate,

The herald of impending fate.

I ſpeak—the ſuffocating blaſt deſcends

In clouds of fluid fire; and nature’s conflict ends.


Where the wild ocean’s heaving waves

Boil round Magellan’s ſtormy coaſt;

When long and loud the tempeſt raves,

I mark the ſtraining veſſel toſt,

By night along unfathom’d ſeas,

I ſee the living current freeze;

As horror graſps each fainting form,

High mid the fury of the ſtorm;

C6r 59

Till the tall maſts in ſcatter’d fragments lie,

And, plung’d amid the ſurge, the ſufferers ſink, and die.


Soft be your bed, and ſweet your reſt,

Ye luckleſs tenants of the deep!

And, o’er each cold and ſhroudleſs breaſt,

May ſpirits of the waters weep!

And ſtill, when awful midnight reigns,

My harp ſhall join in ſolemn ſtrains;

My voice ſhall echo to the waves,

That daſh above your coral graves;

Bleſt be the gloom, that wraps each ſacred head,

And bleſt th’ unbroken ſleep, and ſilence of the dead!


High on yon cloud’s cerulean ſeat,

I ride ſublime thro’ æther blue,

To fling, while reigns the power of heat,

On fainting earth the ſummer dew:

I bid the roſe in crimſon glow,

And ſpread the lily’s robe of ſnow;

C6 C6v 60

I waft from heaven the balmy breeze,

That ſighs along the ſleeping ſeas;

What time the ſpirit of the rock is nigh,

To pour upon the night his heaven-taught melody.


But, far beyond the ſolar blaze,

Again I wing my rapid flight;

Again I cleave the liquid maze,

Exulting in immortal might.

O’er me nor cold, nor heat, prevails,

Nor poiſon from malignant gales;

I glide along the trackleſs coaſt,

That binds the magazines of froſt;

Encompaſs’d by the raging ſtorm,

I ſmile at danger’s threat’ning form;

I mock deſtruction on his tow’ring ſeat,

And leave the roaring winds, contending at my feet.

C7r 61

Ode II.

The Mermaid.

When at laſt they retired to reſt, Ajut went down to the beach, where finding a fiſhing-boat, ſhe entered it without heſitation, and, telling thoſe who wondered at her raſhneſs, that ſhe was going in ſearch of Anningait, rowed away with great ſwiftneſs, and was ſeen no more.

The fate of theſe lovers gave occaſion to various fictions and conjectures. Some are of opinion that they were changed into ſtars; others imagine, Anningait was ſeized in his paſſage by the Genius of the Rocks, and that Ajut was transformed into a Mermaid, and ſtill continues to ſeek her lover in the deſerts of the ſea.

Rambler, No 187.


Blow on, ye death-fraught whirlwinds! blow,

Around the rocks, and rifted caves;

Ye demons of the gulf below!

I hear you, in the troubled waves.

High on this cliff, which darkneſs ſhrouds

In night’s impenetrable clouds,

My ſolitary watch I keep,

And liſten, while the turbid deep

Groans to the raging tempeſts, as they roll

Their deſolating force, to thunder at the pole.

C7v 62


Eternal world of waters, hail!

Within thy caves my lover lies;

And day and night alike ſhall fail,

Ere ſlumber lock my ſtreaming eyes.

Along this wild untrodden coaſt,

Heap’d by the gelid hand of froſt;

Thro’ this unbounded waſte of ſeas,

Where never ſigh’d the vernal breeze;

Mine was the choice, in this terrific form,

To brave the icy ſurge, to ſhiver in the ſtorm.


Yes! I am chang’d.—My heart, my ſoul,

Retain no more their former glow.

Hence, ere the black’ning tempeſts roll,

I watch the bark, in murmurs low,

(While darker low’rs the thick’ning gloom)

To lure the ſailor to his doom;

Soft from ſome pile of frozen ſnow

I pour the ſyren-ſong of woe;

C8r 63

Like the ſad mariner’s expiring cry,

As, faint and worn by toil, he lays him down to die.


Then, while the dark and angry deep

Hangs his huge billows high in air;

And the wild wind, with awful ſweep,

Howls in each fitful ſwell—beware!

High on the rent and craſhing maſt,

I lend new fury to the blaſt;

I mark each hardy cheek grow pale,

And the proud ſons of courage fail;

Till the torn veſſel drinks the surging waves,

Yawns the diſparted main, and opes its ſhelving graves.


When Vengeance bears along the wave

The ſpell, which heaven and earth appals;

Alone, by night, ’Tis thine to ſing, how, framing hideous ſpells, In Sky’s lone iſle the gifted wizard ſits, Waiting in wint’ry cave his wayward fits. Collins’Ode on the Superstitions of the Highlands. in darkſome cave,

On me the gifted wizard calls.

C8v 64

Above the ocean’s boiling flood

Thro’ vapour glares the moon, in blood:

Low ſounds along the waters die,

And ſhrieks of anguish fill the ſky;

Convulſive powers the ſolid rocks divide,

While, o’er the heaving ſurge, th’ embodied ſpirits glide.


Thrice welcome to my weary fight,

Avenging miniſters of wrath!

Ye heard, amid the realms of night,

The ſpell, that wakes the ſleep of death.

Where Hecla’s flames the ſnows diſſolve,

Or ſtorms, the polar ſkies involve;

Where, o’er the tempeſt-beaten wreck,

The raging winds and billows break

On the ſad earth, and in the ſtormy ſea,

All, all ſhall ſhudd’ring own your potent agency.


To aid your toils, to ſcatter death,

Swift, as the ſheeted lightning’s force,

C9r 65

When the keen north-wind’s freezing breath

Spreads deſolation in its courſe,

My ſoul, within this icy ſea,

Fulfils her fearful deſtiny.

Thro’ time’s long ages I shall wait

To lead the victims to their fate;

With callous heart, to hidden rocks decoy,

And lure, in ſeraph-ſtrains, unpitying, to deſtroy.

C9v 66


To Pain.


Hail! fierceſt herald of a power,

Whoſe harſh controul each nerve obeys!

I call thee, at this fearful hour;

To thee my feeble voice I raiſe.

Say, does compaſſion never glow

Within thy ſoul, and bid thee know

The pangs, with which thou fir’ſt the breaſt?

Or doſt thou never, never mourn,

To plant ſo deep the hidden thorn,

Forbidding aid, and blaſting reſt?


Think’ſt thou my wavering fickle mind

Requires ſo much, to break her chain?

Alas! what earthly joys can bind

The wretch, who ſees thy figure, Pain!

C10r 67

For ever fleet before his eyes;

For him, no glories gild the ſkies;

No beauties ſhine in nature’s bound,

In vain with verdure glows the ſpring,

If, from within, thy gnawing ſting

Bid only demons ſcowl around.


Too ſure, I feel, in every vein,

With thee ſoft Pity ne’er can dwell.

Shall pleaſure never ſmile again

Or health thro’ every channel ſwell?

Yes! tho’ thy hand hath cruſh’d the roſe

Before its prime, another blows,

Whoſe blooms thy breath can ne’er deſtroy;

Say, can thy keen and cruel chains

Corrode, where bliſs ſeraphic reigns,

Where all is peace, and all is joy.


Then, wherefore ſighs my fearful heart,

And trembles thus my tottering frame?

C10v 68

Alas! I feel thy deadly dart,

More potent far than fancy’s flame:

I bend, grim tyrant! at thy throne;

But ſpare, ah! ſpare that ſullen frown,

Relax the horrors of thy brow!

O! lead me, with a ſofter hand,

And lo! I come at thy command,

And, unrepining, follow through.

C11r 69

Ode IV.


When many a tear bedims the ſight,

And pleaſure wings her haſty flight

To hearts untouch’d by ſorrow’s dart;

Ah! can the muſe her ſtrains prolong,

Or try to swell the choral ſong,

When grief weighs heavy on the burſting heart?


Fain would I, hanging round thy tomb

The flowers of never-fading bloom,

Thy name from dark oblivion ſave;

Fain would I bid upon thy breaſt

Lightly the mould’ring greenſward reſt,

And no rude hand diſturb thy grave.


Alas! another hand than mine

Muſt for thy brow the laurel twine,

2 C11v 70

Lamented brother of my ſoul!

Another tongue thy virtues ſwell,

And penſive ſtrike the plaintive ſhell,

To bid the tear of pity roll:


Bid ſpring, with humid hand, entwine

His earlieſt flowers, to deck the ſhrine,

Where reſts thy cold inſenſate clay;

There bid the viſionary mind

Hear, in the pauſes of the wind,

Some mournful cadence die away.


And, while upon the moonlight green

The airy minſtrel glides unſeen,

And sweetly ſwells the ſilver lyre;

As ſoftly float the notes along,

Echo ſhall ſtill their ſounds prolong,

A kindred breaſt with ecſtacy to fire!

C12r 71

Ode V.

To the Nightingale.

Tranſlation of the 15th Ode of Rouſſeau.


Why, plaintive warbler! tell me why

For ever ſighs thy troubled heart?

Cannot theſe groves, that glowing ſky,

A ſolace to thy woes impart?

Shall ſpring his blooming wreaths entwine,

To circle every brow, but thine?


See! nature, at thy wiſh’d return,

Renews her robe of gayeſt green;

And can thy wayward boſom mourn,

When nature wakes the vernal ſcene;

When every dryad lends her ſhade,

For thine and contemplation’s aid.

3 C12v 72


See! from thy haunts the ſtormy north

His ſurly blaſts leads far away;

Each bloſſom of the teeming earth,

The glories of the op’ning day;

The promiſe of the coming year,

All, all, ſweet bird, for thee appear


For thee, Aurora ſteeps in dews

The new-born flow’rets of the dale;

For thee, with liberal hand, ſhe ſtrews

Her fragrance on the weſtern gale;

And rifles all the ſweets of morn,

To deck her fav’rite’s moſſy thorn.


Hark! while thy ſad ſtrain ſeems to tell

Some mournful tale of luckleſs love;

On each ſoft note’s ecſtatic ſwell,

In ſilence hang the warbling grove;

D1r 73

And e’en the fowler loves to ſpare

The Poet of the midnight air.


O! if a friend’s untimely tomb

Bids all that tide of ſorrow flow;

Alas! ev’n there, thy wretched doom

Is mercy to my weight of woe;

For pain now paſt, thy boſom ſighs;

Mine, preſent always,—never flies.


Thee, bounteous nature blooms to cheer,

And beauty ſmiles, thy woes to ſtill;

To nature, love, and pity dear,

Well may’ſt thou yield thy load of ill,

To beings, as forlorn as I, While only beings as forlorn as I. Mrs. Smith.

Denied the freedom of a tear,

The rapture The rapture of a ſingle tear. Schiller. of a ſingle ſigh.

D D1v D2r

Original Sonnets.

D2 D2v D3r

Sonnet I.

The Watch-Man.

From ſome rude rock, that overhangs the deep,

When the low winds proclaim the autumnal ſtorm,

And murm’ring ſounds along the waters ſweep;

Where the lone light-houſe lifts its ſpiral form;

I mark, between the blaſt’s infuriate fits,

The gleaming taper’s ſolitary ray,

And fancy wanders, where the watch-man ſits,

With fearful heart, to view the lightnings play

Upon the ſurface of the gloomy waves;

As burſt the thunders on his rocking tower,

And at its foot the mining ocean raves;

Appall’d, he liſtens thro’ the midnight hour,

And calls on Heaven:—The billows urge their way,

Upheave the rooted baſe, and all is ſwept away.

D3 D3v 78

Sonnet II.

The Soldier.

With ſwelling heart I hear thy ſtifled ſigh,

Poor time-worn vet’ran! on thy hoary head

Beats the keen fury of the winter’s ſky,

And ſlow thou mov’ſt, to beg thy bitter bread,

While heaves impetuous thine indignant breaſt;

O! when the veſſel cut the Atlantic foam,

And bore thee, ſick, and wounded, and oppreſt,

Then ruſh’d thy fancy on the ſcene of home;

On all its guiltleſs pleaſures;—her, who chas’d

With looks of anxious tenderneſs, thy woes.

Eternal Heaven! that home—a dreary waſte!

And the cold grave, where thy fond hopes repoſe,

Were all that met thee on thy native ſoil,

And all thy country gave, for years of blood and toil.

D4r 79

Sonnet III.

The Benighted Arab.

In the wild deſert’s ſolitary ſands,

Faint with the fervors of the tropic fire,

Deſerted, and alone, the Arab ſtands,

Beneath the tower’s tall ruin, to expire;

And, as he views the night’s laſt ſhadows fall,

Some faint hopes ſtill his parting ſoul arreſt,

And, rudely ſhelter’d by the tott’ring wall,

He hails the bleak wind on his throbbing breaſt.

Then, as his heart reſigns to peace awhile,

And life, returning to her channel, glows;

What horror thrills him, when, acroſs the pile,

By their dim fires, he marks his deadly foes;

Again his trembling feet the deſert brave,

To ſeek, amid the ſands, the ſhelter of a grave.

D4 D4v 80

Sonnet IV.

The Norwegian.

When doubtful twilight dims the polar noon,

And rays, reflected from the mountains, glow,

Againſt the riſing of the winter moon,

The cold Norwegian from involving ſnow

Clears his frail bark:—and, when the firſt faint ray

Shines on the billow’s ice-encumber’d foam,

Fearleſs he launches on his trackleſs way,

And on the ſtormy ocean hails his home.

When o’er his head, upon the miſty height,

The harſh ſea-eagle rears her airy neſt,

And cheers, with clamours rude, the boreal night;

No thrilling raptures ſwell his ſimple breaſt,

From all the glories, ruſhing on his eye,

The awful ſweep of waves, and ſtar-encircled ſky.

D5r 81

Sonnet V.

To the Owl.

I love thee, cheerleſs, melancholy bird!

Soothing to me is thy funereal cry;

Here build thy lonely neſt, and ever nigh

My dwelling, be thy ſullen wailings heard.

Amid the howlings of the northern blaſt,

Thou lov’ſt to mingle thy diſcordant ſcream,

Which to the viſionary mind may ſeem

To call the ſufferer to eternal reſt.

And ſometimes, with the Spirit of the deep,

Thou ſwell’ſt the roarings of the ſtormy waves;

While, riſing ſhroudleſs from their wat’ry graves,

Aerial forms along the billows ſweep.

Hark! loud, and louder ſtill, the tempeſt raves;—

And ſtill I hear thee from the dizzy ſteep.

D4D5 D5v 82

Sonnet VI.

To the Ocean.

Hush’d are thy ſtormy waves, tempeſtuous main!

Light o’er thy ſurface ſports the genial air!

Ah! who would think, that danger lurks within,

That ev’n thy murmu’rings ſeem to ſay—beware.

To my corroded mind, deſtructive deep!

Thy ſmiling aſpect only brings deſpair,

Reminds me, when the angry whirlwind’s ſweep

Along thy boſom, now ſo calm, ſo fair.

Reminds me, when, unpitying and untrue,

On the ſunk rock thou driv’ſt the fated bark,

Whelm’ſt in thy watr’y breaſt the luckleſs crew,

And ſmil’ſt delighted in a ſcene ſo dark.

Such are thy dreadful trophies, ruthleſs main!

What are thy triumphs—but another’s pain!

D6r 83

Sonnet VII.

Soft thro’ the woodland ſighs the ſummer gale,

With many a hue, the verdant landſcape glows,

And, breathing ſweets along the cultur’d vale,

Steals the freſh fragrance of the bluſhing roſe.

The roaring billows of the ſtormy deep,

Huſh’d to repoſe, their hoſtile rage forbear;

And the low winds on the calm ſurface ſleep,

Cooling the ardour of the noontide air.

No ſummer ſcenes, alas! no vermil bloom

Soothe the ſick ſoul, by every ill oppreſs’d;

To wander, cheerleſs, thro’ the midnight gloom,

To brave the terrors of the wint’ry blaſt,

Whoſe ſwelling guſts ideal woes impart,

Are ſcenes more fitted—to a broken heart.

D6v 84

Sonnet VIII.

Is there a ſpot, in Nature’s wide domain,

Where peace delights her fair abode to rear?

Where the ſad heart ſhall never ſigh again,

Nor the dim’d eye be ſullied with a tear?

Yes! to the ſick’ning ſoul, by woes oppreſs’d,

And doom’d the pride of ignorance to bear,

Ev’n in this world there is one place of reſt,

One ſure aſylum from the corroding care.

Keen blows the wint’ry wind, and beats the rain,

And o’er its graſſy roof the thunders rave;—

But warring elements eſſay in vain,

To wake the ſlumb’ring tenant of the grave.

Vouchſafe, oh Heaven! if ſtill there’s peace for me,

That I that envied tenant ſoon may be!

D7r 85

Sonnet IX.

To the Cypress.

Thro’ the long graſs, that ſhrouds the lonely grave,

When bleak at eve the guſts of winter blow,

I love to mark thy gloomy branches wave,

And bend, lamenting, o’er the duſt below.

Huſh’d every accent, ſave the tempeſt’s moan,

Which waves the tall weeds on the the mould’ring ſod:

Thou, faithful partner of the tomb! alone

Dar’ſt own thy maſter, in his laſt abode.

Bleſt be thy ſhade, in endleſs verdure bleſt,

And hallow’d every foot, that lingers near!

Ah! when the turf ſhall on my boſom reſt,

Still mayſt thou murmur, ’mid the ſilence drear,

To ſoothe, when ev’n affection ſhall decay,

And leave the ſlumberer, to his kindred clay!

D6 D7v 86

Sonnet X.

In ſome deep ſolitude’s romantic breaſt,

Beneath the azure of unchanging ſkies,

O that my weary ſoul could ſink to reſt,

And loſe for ever all her miſeries!

Yes! I have found the tale of Hope untrue,

And ſeen affection vaniſh like a dream.

Alas! while fancy as the viſion flew,

Threw on the paſſing pomp the tranſient beam;

Had ſome prophetic accents reach’d mine ear,

Beware, fond fool! it dazzles, to betray!

Soon ſhall the heart-wrung ſigh, and guſhing tear,

Chaſe the fair promiſe of thy life away:

My ſoul had ſtifled her expanding glow,

Nor, ſought for rapture, to encounter woe.


Sonnets From Petrarch, Ossian, &c.

D8v D9r

Sonnet I.

Se lamentar augelle, ó verdi fronde.

Mov’d by the ſummer wind, when all is ſtill,

The light leaves quiver on the yielding ſpray;

Sighs from its flow’ry banks the lucid rill,

While the birds anſwer in their ſweeteſt lay.

Vain to this ſick’ning heart theſe ſcenes appear;

No form but hers can meet my tearful eyes;

In every paſſing gale her voice I hear;

It ſeems to tell me, I have heard thy ſighs.

But why, ſhe cries, in Manhood’s tow’ring prime,

In grief’s dark miſt thy days, inglorious, hide?

Ah! doſt thou murmur, that my ſpan of time

Has join’d eternity’s unchanging tide?

Yes! tho’ I ſeem’d to ſhut mine eyes in night,

They only clos’d to wake, in everlaſting light.

D9v 90

Sonnet II.

Alma felice, che ſovente torni.

When welcome ſlumber locks my torpid frame,

I ſee thy ſpirit in the midnight dream;

Thine eyes, that ſtill in living luſtre beam,

In all, but frail mortality the ſame.

Ah then! from earth and all its ſorrows free,

Methinks I meet thee, in each former ſcene,

Once the ſweet ſhelter of a heart ſerene,

Now vocal only, while I weep for thee.

For thee? ah no! from human ills ſecure,

Thy hallow’d ſoul exults in endleſs day.

’Tis I, who linger on the toilſome way;

No balm relieves the anguiſh I endure,

Save the fond, feeble hope, that thou art near,

To soothe my ſufferings with an angel’s tear.

D10r 91

Sonnet III.

Diſcolorato hai morte, il pui bel volto.

Where now the beauty of thy heavenly face?

In vain I ſeek what I ſhall meet no more!

Fled the pure ſoul, that wak’d to life before

Each tender ſmile, and animated grace:

For never now ſhall thy bewitching tongue

Revive my weary ſpirit, woe-depreſt;

Or lull again to tranſitory reſt

This heart, ſo many agonies have wrung.

O! as the ling’ring years of life decay

Beneath keen ſorrow’s unrelenting power,

No peace I find, ſave when, in fancy’s hour,

With thee I wander thro’ cerulean day,

And taſte fond pleaſure, as I ſee thee ſhine,

And as I think thee, tho’ immortal, mine.

D10v 92

Sonnet IV.

Levommi il mio penſier in parte; ov’era.

Yes! mid the bliſsful band, in yonder ſkies,

I ſee her lovely, as in former days:

Soft pity trembles in her humid eyes,

And veils the luſtre of the ſeraph’s blaze.

Here too, she cries, when life’s rude blaſt is o’er,

If virtue ſhrink not at the ſyren’s voice,

Here ſhalt thou reſt with me to part no more,

And in unſullied happineſs rejoice!

Rejoice? And can the ſoul immers’d in clay,

Conceive the raptures, that inſpire the bleſt!

For thee I wait.—Ah! tho’ I fled away,

Let heavenly hope illume thy darken’d breaſt.

Why was ſhe ſilent, when my ſoaring ſoul

Already touch’d th’ anticipated goal!

D11r 93

Sonnet V.

Quel Roſignol, che ſi ſoave piagne.

Forlorn complainer of the midnight hour!

Where has thy ſweet voice caught the tale of woe?

Has fate, relentleſs, laid thy lover low,

And left thee deſolate in hill and bow’r?

Ah! tho’ thy nightly melodies are vain,

Vain, as the phantoms, I purſued ſo long,

Ceaſe not the magic of thy ſoothing ſong:

O! could it lure thee to the world again?

Lamented angel! No! thine alter’d eyes

Are clos’d for ever: yet I linger here,

And, vainly ſhedding on thy grave the tear,

I feel that all, on which the ſoul relies,

May vaniſh, like the viſionary light

That mocks the wand’rer’s eye, amid the gloom of night.

3 D11v 94

Sonnet VI.

Sento l’aura mia antica, é i’dolci colli.

Once more, ye balmy gales! I feel you blow,

Again, ſweet hills! I mark the morning beams

Gild your green ſummits; while your ſilver ſtreams,

Thro’ vales of fragrance, undulating, flow:

But you, ye dreams of bliſs! no longer here

Give life and beauty to the glowing ſcene;

For ſtern remembrance ſtands, where you have been,

And blaſts the verdure of the blooming year!

O Laura! Laura! in the duſt with thee,

Would I could find a refuge from deſpair!

Is this thy boaſted triumph, Love! to tear

A heart, thy coward malice dare not free,

And bid it live, when every hope is fled,

To weep, among the aſhes of the dead?

D12r 95

Sonnet VII.

From La Casa.

Queſta vita mortal, &c.

Cold as the ſhiv’ring twilight of the tomb,

When fancy wakes the ſhadows of the dead,

In ſorrow ſhrouded and nocturnal gloom,

The weary ſummer of my life has fled.

Now, God eternal! while mine alter’d ſoul

This far-ſtretch’d earth, yon diſtant heav’n ſurveys,

The burning tropic, and the freezing pole,

Siberia’s ice, and Magadoxa’s blaze,

I find Thee every where! In power ſublime

Thou call’dſt theſe wonders from th’ abyſs of night.

Thro’ circling ages, and on every clime,

Thy ſun hath ſhone with undiminiſh’d light.

From thee they came, on thee the links depend,

Wherever life informs, or rolling worlds extend.

2 D12v 96

Sonnet VIII.

From Ossian.

Green thorn of the hill of ghoſts, that ſhakeſt thy head to nightly winds! &c. Temora, Book vii.

Shook in the whiſtling wind, that ſweeps by night,

Waves the dark thorn upon the twilight hill,

Hark! thro’ the murmuring leaves, that ſhiver ſtill,

Some ſpirit ruſtles, in its airy flight.

For oft, in wint’ry ſtorms, the eddying blaſt

Bears, on its viewleſs wings, the ſhadowy dead;

When the faint moon conceals her pallid head,

Amid the darkneſs of th’ unfathom’d vaſt.

O! hear me, voices of the days of old.

I hear not you, departed ſons of ſong!

Say, do ye ſweep the lyre, the clouds among?

Or, in the morning miſt aerial roll’d,

Glide the green ocean’s foamy breaſt along,

When gleam the ſun-beat waves in liquid gold?


Sonnets From Werter.

E E1v

Why doſt thou awake me, O gale! it ſeems to ſay, I am covered with the drops of heaven. The time of my fading is near, and the blaſt that ſhall ſcatter my leaves. To-morrow ſhall the traveller come, he that ſaw me in my beauty ſhall come: his eyes will ſearch the field, but they will not find me. Ossian.


Sonnet I. Sonnet I. As ſoon as I opened my window this morning, I ſaid, To-day I shall ſee her, and I calmly looked at the ſun. Werter, Vol. I. l. 22.

When the firſt beams of morn illume the ſky,

To-day I ſee her, and I hail the ſun;

To-day I ſee her, and the moments run,

And life, and time, and all unheeded fly.

O how I graſp deluſions! form again

The frantic hopes, my firmer mind denies!

I ſee but her, in earth, in air, and ſkies;

I feel but her, in all my burning brain.

Then, as I think upon the woes to come,

Bereav’d of comfort, how I hate the day!

Tears, from a heart of anguiſh, force their way,

And oft I wiſh to make the grave my home;

To drink the bitter cup, while yet I may,

Before my ſtrength is gone, and all my powers decay.

E2 E2v 100

Sonnet II. Sonnet II. Nature diſplays all her beauties before me, exhibits the moſt enchanting ſcenes, and my heart is unmoved. Werter, Vol II. l. 66.

Is this ſad heart, ſo cold and vacant, mine?

Enchanting ſcenes! I know you now no more!

The ſoft ſtream winds beneath th’ o’erhanging pine;

Ye ſhine in ſummer pride—but mine is o’er.

O could I place my woes in lowring ſkies,

In diſmal ſeaſons, or capricious care,

In the wild whirl ambition’s ſtrife ſupplies,

My tighten’d heart might breathe in freer air.

Wretch that I am! this boſom once ſo bleſt,

Contains the poiſon, which conſumes its peace;

In vain I ſtretch my arms, and ſeek for reſt;

Dark clouds ſurround, forbidding all releaſe.

Yes! I muſt fill the measure of my woes,

And then I find the road, that leads me to repoſe.

E3r 101 William Hughes

Sonnet III. Sonnet III. That ardent ſentiment which animated my heart with the love of nature, which poured in upon me a torrent of delight, which brought all paradiſe before me, is now become an inſupportable torment. Werter, Vol. I. l. 31.

Where is that ſentiment which warm’d my breaſt,

That pour’d around me torrents of delight,

That brought all paradiſe before my ſight,

And wrapt my ſoul in viſions of the bleſt!

How often has the wand’ring ſea-bird’s flight

Acroſs the vaſt immeaſurable deep,

Borne my free ſpirit, in its rapid ſweep,

Thro’ living waters, and immortal light,

To taſte beatitude, where raptures flow.

Oh! how this heart is chang’d!—For bliſsful dreams

Of life eternal, dim before me gleams

The deep and fathomleſs abyſs of woe,

Where, hurried headlong thro’ the black’ning wave,

Or daſh’d upon the rocks, I ſoon muſt find my grave.

E3 E3v 102

Sonnet IV. Sonnet IV. I watched Charlotte’s eyes; they wandered from one to the other, but did not light on me; upon me, who ſtood there motionleſs, and who saw nothing but her. You know the ſtory of a mountain of loadſtone. When any veſſels came near it, the nails flew to the mountain, and the unhappy crew periſhed amidſt the disjointed planks. Werter, Vol. I.

Ah! not on me ſhe turn’d her wand’ring eyes!

On me who ſaw but her, but her alone!

Yet ſtill I thought! Alas! my ſoul relies

On airy phantoms, when its peace is gone.

Yes! I would go! could this devoted breaſt

Give back her image?—but in vain I rave:

For ever preſent, on my brain impreſs’d,

Her eye’s dark luſtre lights me to the grave!

Thus the dread loadſtone, on the torrid ſteep,

Rocks the tall veſſel on her ſtraining keel,

Draws from the oozing ſeams the central ſteel;

The maſts’ torn fragments drifting on the deep:

Yes! one muſt periſh! Charlotte! be it mine

To give my life, and purchaſe peace to thine!

E4r 103

Sonnet V. Sonnet V. It was a gloomy and awful ſight, the moon was behind a cloud, but by means of a few ſcattered rays, I could perceive the foaming waves rolling over the fields and meadows. I drew near to the precipice; I wiſhed and ſhuddered; I ſtretched out my arms. I leaned over, I ſighed, and loſt myſelf in the happy thought of burying all my ſufferings, all my torments, in that abyſs, and toſſing amidſt the waves. Werter, Vol II. l. 75.

Howls the ſad wind, amid the torrents drear,

That pour impetuous from the mountain’s brow,

And thro’ incumbent clouds the moon’s wan ſphere

Illumes, with ſcattered light, th’ abyſs below.

O how the terrors of this fearful night

Bear kindred horrors to my fiery ſoul!

Should aught but deſolation meet my ſight?

No! As I mark the flaming tempeſts roll,

Methinks, to toſs the foaming ſurge on high,

And join the tumult of the warring ſkies,

Commingled with the wind, my ſoul could fly,

And ſoar ſublime, beyond her agonies!

And cannot I?—It is not yet my time:

All, all my wiſhes now are in another clime.

E4 E4v 104

Sonnet VI. Sonnet VI. I found her alone and was ſilent; ſhe looked ſtedfaſtly at me: The fire of genius, the charms of beauty were fled; but I ſaw in her countenance an expreſſion much more touching—the expreſſions of ſoft pity, and the tendereſt concern. Werter, Vol. II. 1. 70.

Why will ſhe look, as if her ſoul were mine?

Mine? Power Eternal! how my plaſtic brain

Gives form to ſhadows, while I ſeek in vain

For love, where only tears of pity ſhine.

Alas! ſhe knows not, that her ſoften’d eyes

Shed deadly poiſon thro’ my blighted breaſt.

Oft, while I gaze, and think myſelf at reſt,

As in the morn, that ſaw my hopes ariſe;

Ah! then conviction, like the lightning’s flaſh,

Gleams on the gulf, where all my hopes ſhall ceaſe;

Dark terror ſcatters every beam of peace;

And then I fly, to hear the thunder’s craſh

On some wild rock:—’Tis muſic to my ears,

And lends my ſwelling heart the luxury of tears.

E5r 105

Sonnet VII. Sonnet VII. I break my way through copſes, amongſt thorns and briers, which tear me to pieces, and I feel a little relief. Sometimes I lie ſtretched on the ground, overcome with fatigue, and dying with thirſt; ſometimes, late in the night, when the moon ſhines upon my head, I lean againſt a bending tree in ſome ſequeſtered foreſt, and quite worn out and exhauſted, I ſleep till break of day. The diſmal cell, the ſackcloth, the girdle, with ſharp points of iron, would be indulgence and luxury in compariſon of what I now ſuffer. Werter, Let. XXXV.

Pierc’d by the rugged thorn, I burſt my way

Thro’ tangled thickets, which oppoſe in vain;

Would that my ſtreaming blood might now allay

My soul’s deep agony and fever’d brain!

Oft, when the ſhudd’ring damps my frame benumb,

Shines on my blaſted head th’ unclouded moon;

Till, faint with anguiſh, and with thirſt o’ercome,

Amid the ſilence of the night’s pale noon,

I ſink exhauſted till the dawn of morn!

O God! the darkeſt dungeon which entombs

The living victim, or the racking ſteel

By the laſt tears of groaning nature worne,

Were eaſe to what my ebbing life conſumes,

Were bliſs and luxury to what I feel!

E5v 106

Sonnet VIII. Sonnet VIII. I have paſſed a dreadful night—or rather let me call it a propitious one, for it has determined me; it has fixed my purpoſe: I am reſolved to die. Werter, Vol II. p. 137.

Yes! it is well: Avenging Heav’n! ’tis well.

This night—this awful night has ſtrung my ſoul.

A few short hours, and I ſhall reach the goal,

And ſtill the ſtorm, I cannot now repel.

O! ſhould ſtern Virtue’s happier ſons deny

To mix their aſhes, in a grave with mine;

In ſome lone valley let my relics lie,

Unfollow’d, Charlotte! with a tear—but thine.

And, if a wanderer ſhould chance to ſtray,

Where deep forgetfulneſs around me reigns,

And, ſadly ſeated by my bed of clay,

Call down a bleſſing on my ſpurn’d remains,

I ask no more.—Let none profane the tomb;

Myſterious ſilence reſt for ever on my doom.

E6r 107

Sonnet IX. Sonnet IX. For the laſt time I now open my eyes. Alas! they will behold the ſun no more; a thick and gloomy fog hides it. Werter Vol II. p. 157

I feel, I feel, that all is over now.

My eyes ſhall never more behold the ſun.

Thick fogs involve, and Nature veils her brow.

At the laſt conflict of a wretch undone.

Like ſome torn wreck, along the waters driv’n,

And, unreſiſting, toſt from ſhore to ſhore;

When midnight darkneſs ſhrouds the light of Heav’n,

And angry winds, and raging billows roar,

I ruſh inſenſate to the brink of death:

I plunge uncall’d, amid unfathom’d ſeas.

Thine anguiſh, Charlotte!—with my lateſt breath,

I call on Heav’n, to lull thy ſoul to peace.

And, now be calm,—we meet—we meet again:

And to ſecure thy peace, I ſhall not die in vain.

E6v 108

Sonnet X. Sonnet X. Be at peace; let me entreat you, be at peace! they are loaded—the clock ſtrikes twelve—I go, Charlotte!—Charlotte! Farewell! Farewell! Werter, Vol. II. p. 182.

’Tis midnight now,—all ſilent as the tomb.

Thou ſleep’ſt, my Charlotte! while thy lover dies.

O that one tear would bathe my burning eyes,

And ſoothe my ſullen ſoul’s tremendous gloom!

Once more, fair ſtar! I hail thy favourite beam;

Thou ſhin’ſt unſullied, on a world of woe.

When gleam the hills, in thy revolving glow,

My ſoul, reviving, from a troubled dream,

Shall ſoar, unfetter’d, thro’ the waſte of day.

O thou! for whom I liv’d, for whom I die,

Farewell!—farewell!—the awful hour is nigh,

That ſees this active heart a clod of clay.

The knell is rung.—Ah, Charlotte! be at peace

And loſe my error, in my bleſt releaſe.

Notes on the Sonnets from Werter.

Sonnet I. As ſoon as I opened my window this morning, I ſaid, To-day I shall ſee her, and I calmly looked at the ſun. Werter, Vol. I. l. 22. Sonnet II. Nature diſplays all her beauties before me, exhibits the moſt enchanting ſcenes, and my heart is unmoved. Werter, Vol II. l. 66. Sonnet III. That ardent ſentiment which animated my heart with the love of nature, which poured in upon me a torrent of delight, which brought all paradiſe before me, is now become an inſupportable torment. Werter, Vol. I. l. 31. Sonnet IV. I watched Charlotte’s eyes; they wandered from one to the other, but did not light on me; upon me, who ſtood there motionleſs, and who saw nothing but her. You know the ſtory of a mountain of loadſtone. When any veſſels came near it, the nails flew to the mountain, and the unhappy crew periſhed amidſt the disjointed planks. Werter, Vol. I. Sonnet V. It was a gloomy and awful ſight, the moon was behind a cloud, but by means of a few ſcattered rays, I could perceive the foaming waves rolling over the fields and meadows. I drew near to the precipice; I wiſhed and ſhuddered; I ſtretched out my arms. I leaned over, I ſighed, and loſt myſelf in the happy thought of burying all my ſufferings, all my torments, in that abyſs, and toſſing amidſt the waves. Werter, Vol II. l. 75. 2 E7v 110 Sonnet VI. I found her alone and was ſilent; ſhe looked ſtedfaſtly at me: The fire of genius, the charms of beauty were fled; but I ſaw in her countenance an expreſſion much more touching—the expreſſions of ſoft pity, and the tendereſt concern. Werter, Vol. II. 1. 70. Sonnet VII. I break my way through copſes, amongſt thorns and briers, which tear me to pieces, and I feel a little relief. Sometimes I lie ſtretched on the ground, overcome with fatigue, and dying with thirſt; ſometimes, late in the night, when the moon ſhines upon my head, I lean againſt a bending tree in ſome ſequeſtered foreſt, and quite worn out and exhauſted, I ſleep till break of day. The diſmal cell, the ſackcloth, the girdle, with ſharp points of iron, would be indulgence and luxury in compariſon of what I now ſuffer. Werter, Let. XXXV. Sonnet VIII. I have paſſed a dreadful night—or rather let me call it a propitious one, for it has determined me; it has fixed my purpoſe: I am reſolved to die. Werter, Vol II. p. 137. Sonnet IX. For the laſt time I now open my eyes. Alas! they will behold the ſun no more; a thick and gloomy fog hides it. Werter Vol II. p. 157 Sonnet X. Be at peace; let me entreat you, be at peace! they are loaded—the clock ſtrikes twelve—I go, Charlotte!—Charlotte! Farewell! Farewell! Werter, Vol. II. p. 182.



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