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damaged1 quarter page Poems.

By
Anne Bannerman.

Edinburgh:
Printed by Mundell & Son, Royal Bank Close;
for Mundell & Son Edinburgh; and Longman & Rees,
and J. Wright, London.
18001800.

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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!

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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.
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The Genii.

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Argument.

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.

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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,

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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;

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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!

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No fair proportions met your sullen sight;

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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;

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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,

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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.

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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

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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:

40

—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.”
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.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,

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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:

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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;

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

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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;

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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,

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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,

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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.

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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

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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,

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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,

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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,

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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,

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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

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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;

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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.

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Tremendous Genii! not alone you reign

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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.

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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,

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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!

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

While every smile of anguish hides the tear,

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

No heart-wrung sighs her agonies betray.

—Oft, as her faded eyes begin to trace

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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.

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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

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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,

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With love congenial to the mind convey

What golden glories wake the heavenly day,

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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,

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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,

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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,

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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?

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No! while the powers of desolation wait

Upon your footsteps, ministers of fate,

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Beneath those skies, where Boreal tempests roll

O’er the long twilight of the desert pole:

Unseen and fearless, you delight to go,

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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,

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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,

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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:

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Expanding shores have met your piercing sight,

That long have slept, in undiscover’d night.

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Involving woods, impervious to the day,

Where the keen tyger shuns the noon-tide ray,

Whence, proudly spurning his paternal den,

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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.

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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,

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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!

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With frantic fury now he turns around,

His fierce front fever’d with the frequent wound;

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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,

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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,

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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

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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.

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But, when dark fury sways, with lightning spell

You drag the tempest from its channel’d cell,

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With souls unmov’d survey, and gloomy joy,

Its fateful progress, rapid to destroy.

Thus, where dark Maelstrom’s furious torrents boil,

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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;

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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,

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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;

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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,

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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;

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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,

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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,

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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;

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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.

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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,

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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,

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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,

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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;

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The luckless sufferer turns, and shrieks, and dies.

Mysterious witnesses of ages past!

When darkness veil’d the illimitable vast,

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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.”
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Gen. Chap. I.
firmament divide

The waste of waters from the ocean’s tide;

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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.”
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.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,

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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,

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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.”
INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Gen. Chap. VIII.
and the waters fled.

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—You saw the earth emerge, the hills return,

335

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.

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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,

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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.

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—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

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

455355

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,

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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,

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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;

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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

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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!

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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,

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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:

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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,

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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,

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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,

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

B1r

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.
B2r

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:

5

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?

10

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

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Some youthful warrior—she shall meet no more:

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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!

20

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,

25

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.

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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:

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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;

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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,

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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.

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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,

55

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;

60

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,

65

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:

70

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’s Task. where Peace might love to dwell,

75

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,

80

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,

85

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:

90

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,

95

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:

100

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,

105

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,

110

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,

115

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;

120

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

125

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!

130

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,

135

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!

140

Time’s feeble barrier bounds the painful course,

But joy shall reign, eternal as its source.

B6r

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,

5

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.

10

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

15

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.

20

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,

25

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;

30

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,

35

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;

40

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

45

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,

50

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,

55

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,

60

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,

65

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;

70

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,

75

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?

80

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

85

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:

90

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,

95

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;

100

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,

105

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?

110

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,

115

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.

120

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,

125

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:

130

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!

135

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,

140

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,

145

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,

150

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,

160

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!

170

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!

180

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,

185

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;

190

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,

195

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.

200

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

205

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.

210

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,

215

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!

220

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,

225

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!

230

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,

235

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;

240

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

245

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?

250

’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,

255

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;

260

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,

265

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.

270

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,

275

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;

280

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,

285

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;

290

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

295

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.

C3r

Odes.

C3 C3v C4r

Ode I.

The Spirit of the Air.

I.

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.

II.

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.

III.

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.

IV.

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.

V.

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

VI.

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.

VII.

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.

VIII.

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!

IX.

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.

X.

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.

I.

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

II.

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.

III.

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.

IV.

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.

V.

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.

VI.

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.

VII.

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

Ode III

To Pain.

I.

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?

II.

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.

III.

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.

IV.

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.

I.

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?

II.

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.

III.

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:

IV.

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.

V.

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.

I.

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?

II.

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

III.

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

IV.

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.

V.

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.

VI.

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.

VII.

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.

D8r

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?

E1r

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.

E2r

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.

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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.

Finis.

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List of Books

Printed for Mundell & Son, Edinburgh.

Printed by Mundell & Son,
Royal Bank Close, Edinburgh.