London. Printed for J Johnson, St. Paul’s Church Yard. 17951795.
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These light effuſions of a youthful imagination, written at various times for the entertainment of my idle hours, I now preſent to ſuch Readers whoſe minds are not too ſeriouſly engaged; and ſhould they afford any degree of amuſement, my moſt ſanguine expectations will be anſwered. To attempt more in an age like this, enlightened by authors, whoſe lives have been devoted to the ſtudy of metaphyſical and moral truth, would be preſumptuous; and my experience does not juſtify ſuch efforts. Moſt of my days have been paſſed in ſolitude, and the little knowledge I have acquired cannot boaſt the authority of much experience; my opinions, therefore, would carry little weight; for though the dictates of Nature may be ſometimes more juſt than concluſions drawn from a partial knowledge of the world, yet even our moſt ſettled convictions are never, perhaps, unbiaſſed by prejudice, or uninfluenced by affection.From xii A5v
From among my juvenile productions I have principally ſelected for this volume ſome poetical tales and unconnected ſketches, which a love for the beauties of nature inſpired. The verſification is wild, and ſtill incorrect, though I have taken much pains to reduce it to ſome degree of order; they were written without the knowledge of any rules; of which their irregularity is the natural conſequence. The ſubjects, alſo, are not always ſuch, as, on maturer reflection, I ſhould have choſen, had they been originally intended for publication. The ſeeds ſcattered in my mind were caſual; the productions ſpontaneous and involuntary. I can only ſay that what I have written is genuine, and that I am but little indebted either to ancient or modern poets. With the ancient poets, indeed, my acquaintance has been but ſmall, and only obtained through the medium of tranſlations. Whatever ſuperiority thoſe may enjoy who can boaſt an acquaintance with these great maſters, and however ambitious they may be to copy theſe originals, yet I cannot help obſerving, that we have many inſtances of modern poets who have ſucceeded without treading too cloſely in their ſteps. Of this, the truly poetic energy of Robert Burns, and the ſimple elegance of ſome of xiii A6r of George Dyer’s poems, afford remarkable inſtances; the latter, though a profeſſed admirer of thoſe writers, appears to have guarded againſt a ſervile imitation of them.
Thoſe who have ever felt the warm influence of the Muſe, muſt know that her inſpirations are flattering and ſeductive; that ſhe often raiſes the heart with vanity, and then overwhelms it with fears: ſuch will readily believe, that with a fluctuating mind, and a trembling heart, I addreſs the Public, without any pretence for being treated with particular indulgence.—A ſtrong motive firſt influenced me to this attempt, before I had ſufficiently conſidered its boldneſs; and having once adventured, I found it too late to recede.
Poetical Sketches, in Irregular Verse.
Dawn had not ſtreak’d the ſpacious veil of night,
When Eyezion, the light poet of the ſpring,
Hied from his reſtleſs bed, to ſing,
Impatient for the promis’d beams of light:
Sweetly his voice through woods and vallies rang,
While fleeting o’er the hills, theſe anxious notes he ſang:
Swift, ſwift, ye lingering hours,
And wake the morning ſtar;
Rouſe from the dew-fraught flowers
The ſhades, and drive them far.
Quick on the wings of morning,
Dart the young glimmering light,
Th’ horizon’s verge adorning,
With bluſhing radiance dight.
Riſe, Phœbus, from yon mountain,
Your ſaffron robes diſplay;
Warm every lake and fountain,
And kindle up the day.
My ſoul, fledg’d with deſires,
Flutters, and pants for morn,
To catch the orient fires
Light trembling o’er the lawn.
When rays, o’er meadows bluſhing,
Illumine Viza’s eyes,
Her lily-boſom fluſhing
Reflects the glowing ſkies.
O ſoul! that dart’ſt through ages,
And wing’ſt with ſubtile power,
Why weak, when ardour rages,
To ſpeed one ſlumbering hour?
Its beams when morning glances,
Viza unfolds her charms,
Spangled with dews advances,
And glows within my arms.
Midſt rills ſhe laves her treſſes,
And blooming beams delight;
Swift—love my ſoul oppreſſes—
Why’s thought more quick than light?
All hung with ſtars, as ſcorning,
Night lingers ’mid the ſkies;
O! when will riſe the morning?
O! when will Viza riſe?
Theſe notes a ſportive zephyr gently blew;
The lovely Viza op’d her ſtar-like eyes:
Her dreams diſſolving ’mid night’s ſhadows flew,
While ſweet ſenſations in her boſom riſe.
Her ears th’ enchanting ſtrains with pleaſure greet,
She aſks, who ſang ſo early, and ſo ſweet?
From Viza’s memory then is Eyezion flown?
And is the muſic ſhe inſpires unknown?
If ſtill no trait on thy remembrance pours,
Liſten, whilſt I deſcribe my mental powers.
A current of creative mind,
Wild as the wandering guſts of wind,
’Mid fertile fancy’s viſions train’d,
Unzon’d I ſhot, and o’er each limit ſtrain’d;
Around in airy circles whirl’d
By a genius infinite;While 005 B3r 5
While Love in wanton ringlets curl’d
My treſſes, paſſion to excite.
Muſic waited on my birth,
And call’d itſelf the ſoul of verſe;
And wildly, through the mazy earth,
My lips its melodies rehearſe.
Thus ſkimming o’er the tracts of life,
Borne on light elements, I bound;
Free from rage, and coarſer ſtrife,
I catch new beauties all around;
From Love’s light wings I ſteal the tender down,
While each gay Muſe my aſpiring temples crown.
When Grief purſues with harpy wing,
To whirl me to dark realms of Care,
Upon poetic ſpells I fly,
Wafted afar from black Deſpair;B3 And, 006 B3v 6
And, as I ſing,
Am rais’d on high:
Young Joy with pleaſure ſmoothes the ſcene,
Of mortal eyes unſeen;
With theſe I fleet,
Amid the Loves and Smiles ſweet flowrets wreathe;
And every ſigh I waft, and every joy I breathe,
Mix’d with ſeraphic airs, fly on poetic feet.
Thou ſweet enthuſiaſt! ſay, what brings thee here,
Ere mounting larks have hail’d the morning ſtar?
Involving ſhades, with cruel care,
Now wrap thee in their womb;
Though here and there a glittering ſtar
Shoots through blank night, and breaks the gloom.
Drawn by what irreſiſtleſs power,
Shall I with trembling notes recite,3 Why, 007 B4r 7
Why, glowing like an opening flower,
I fleet before the morning light?
Yet fancy paints a conſcious bluſh
O’er thy fair cheeks; nor need my tongue
With deeper die thy beauties fluſh—
Thou know’ſt I’m drawn by thee alone.
From diſtant tracts I bound along,
Nor hills nor ſtreams my courſe delay,
Whilſt oft reverb’rating my ſong,
Sweet echo with the Muſes play.
Methinks the fading night decays,
And morning breezes fan the air.
Diſtinct I view the ſilvering rays
O’er yonder mountain tops appear.
Soon as young light ſhall clear the heaven,
Urg’d by the glowing rays of morn;
When circling miſts are diſtant driven,
Expect me on the dewy lawn.
Wild midſt the teeming buds of opening May,
Breaking large branches from the flow’ry thorn,
O’er the fern’d hills ſee Rosamonda ſtray,
Scattering the pearls which the gay leaves adorn!
The ſun broke forth—and wide its glories threw,
Bluſhing along the ſky, and ſparkling in the dew.
The plains gay-glitter’d with ethereal light;
And the field-melody,
Nature’s wild harmony,
Breath’d love, and ſang delight!
Freſh Rosamonde the glowing ſcene ſurveys,
Her youthful boſom inly ſtung with pain;Early 010 B5v 10
Early amid the ſhadowy trees ſhe ſtrays,
Her ſhining eyes the ſtarting tears reſtrain;
While tyrant Love within her pulſes plays,
O’er the wet graſs ſhe flew with wild diſdain.
She flew from thought, and far
She ſang, and hail’d the morning ſtar.
Her voice was pinion’d on the wind,
Which wafts her notes around;
Encircling zephyrs caught each sound,
And bore them echoing through the wood,
Where pleas’d offended Urban ſtood,
With archeſt smile, yet musical and kind:
Conquering the ſigh, ſhe gayly ſung,
And ſcorn loud-trembled on her wiery tongue.
While Urban ſtood, and held her in his eyes,
He to his lips applies
The ſoft-breath’d flute;
Whoſe notes, when touch’d with art,
Steal to the inmoſt heart,And 011 B6r 11
And throw the tyrannizing ſpirit down—
While vanity and pride are charm’d and mute.
Thoſe lays reach’d Rosamonda’s ear,
She fluttering, like a bird whom fear
Has drawn within the faſcinating ſerpent’s fangs,
Unable to conceal the pangs
Of pride, conflicting with returning love,
To hide her bluſhes, darts amid the grove:
Sweet ſhowers faſt ſprinkle from her lovely eyes,
Which drown her ſhort-liv’d ſcorn;
But as ſhe moves the young muſician flies,
Leaves her all wild, ſad, weeping, and forlorn!
The ſun had thrown its noontide ray
Amid the flowers, and ſcorch’d the plains,
Which panted for refreſhing rains;
While gaudy flies their golden wings diſplay,
And bees cull’d ſweets to chear a wintry day:
Each beam that darted down
Chas’d lingering ſhades,
Through the thick umbrage of the trees pervades,
And univerſal ſplendour ſhed around:
The ſlippery graſs, burnt brown with heat,
Unkindly ſcorch’d the traveller’s feet.
And now, oppreſs’d,
While every creature languid hied to reſt,Amid 013 B7r 13
Amid the blaze Lysander bounds along,
Bold as a lion, ſcorch’d by many a clime;
Far off was heard the echoes of his ſong,
Reſponſive to his clear and artleſs rhyme:
He ſeeks no ſhade, nor grotto’s cool retreat,
But on, amidſt the furzy heath, he preſs’d;
The heart’s warm paſſions through his pulſes beat,
And native fire inſpires his manly breaſt.
He ſeeks the craggy ſhore which ocean laves,
And, ſeated on a rock, ſurveys the ſwelling waves:
The eminence th’ horizon’s ſcope commands,
The plains ſurrounding, and the burning ſtrands.
O’er the wild ſcene he threw a happy look,
Compares the preſent pleaſure with the paſt;
Gladly he turns each page of Nature’s book,
And prays the freedom of his ſoul may laſt.
He roll’d his eyes
Acroſs the ſeas;
Now glancing o’er the glaſſy waves,Now 014 B7v 14
Now mounting to the ſkies,
Th’ immortal prize
Of valiant ſouls who find deep watery graves.
Thus as he ſat, by ſtrong reflection bound,
Up the rough rock aſcends a ſound,
Which piercingly pervades his ears;
It ſeem’d the frantic cry of woe,
Which ſtruggling groan’d, without the aid of tears.
The ſounds like lightening reach’d his heart; and fluſh’d
With quick alarm he made no longer ſtay,
Ardently down the craggy ſteep he ruſh’d,
Rough heights he leap’d, impatient of delay,
And tow’rds the ſufferer bent his eager way;
Till by the ſea he reach’d ſome rocky caves,
Laſh’d by the loud-reſounding waves.
There a wild female rent her golden hair,
With raging paſſions blind;Her 015 B8r 15
Her ſad young boſom bare,
And frantic ſeem’d her ſtormy mind.
Swift tow’rds the ſea ſhe flies,
With direful cries;
Driven on by fierce deſpair,
Mid oozy waves to drown remaining ſenſe of care.
Touch’d by each generous thought,
By ſtrong humanity impreſs’d,
The damſel in his arms he caught,
And held her, ſtruggling, to his breaſt.
Why trembles thus thy ſoul, O wretched maid!
O agony! too piercing agony!
Is through thy miſerable frame pourtray’d.
O could my breaſt relieve thy miſery!
Juſt Heaven! if thou haſt pity, eaſe her pain!
Her heart will burſt! ſhe faints within my arms!—
Upon my boſom ſhe reclines her charms;
My falling tears bedew her cheeks in vain!
He ſtretch’d her on the ſhore—
He fetched cool water from the ſeas,
And ſprinkled her all o’er,
And fanning her with leaves collects the breeze:
Till on the heavens ſhe op’d her azure eyes,
And, with returning thought and grief, look’d up—
Ah, wretched me! ſhe cry’d, with burſting ſighs,I’ve plenteous drank at ſorrow’s bitter cup! To God I fly; no help on earth I find, And from my ſoul would tear the mortal part; Such ſad diſorders fill the human mind, Such deep afflictions rive my guilty heart.
Stung to the heart, ſhe roſe;
Tears ſtream’d from her fair eyes;
Shame in her cheeks reviv’d the damaſk roſe,
And poignant ſorrow burſt in bitter ſighs:
She wept all ſilently:
Lysander ſcarce could ſpeak,
Though ſometimes, Cruelty! O cruelty!
Forth from his lips would break.
With generous paſſions ſwell’d his noble breaſt;
Paſſions too ſtrong and deep to be expreſs’d;
Pity and rage with equal ſtrivings beat,
And ſympathy, wrought high by nat’ral heat:
By my true ſoul! at length he cried,As Nature’s my director and my guide, My heart, chain’d by thy woe, Shall neither joy nor comfort know, C “Till 018 C1v 18 Till I’ve reveng’d thy wrongs, and giv’n thee eaſe, And, by my love, have ſet thy troubled ſoul at peace. O! let not miſery o’erwhelm thy heart, Nor the fair path of life and joy decline; Vengeance ſhall find the authors of thy ſmart— O! fearleſs reſt thy drooping ſoul on mine, Which, like the oak, round which the ivy ſtrays, With bleſſings yet may ſtore thy future days.
The damſel’s ſorrow, like a furious ſtorm,
Rack’d her celeſtial ſyſtem with its rage;
And the mild radiance of her charms deform.
At length the vivid fires ruſh’d to her heart,
Tingled in ev’ry vein, blaz’d from her eyes,
While ſudden joys before her ſpirits riſe,
And o’er her cheeks warm transient colours dart:Fir’d 019 C2r 19
Fir’d by his zeal,
Extatic feelings tinge her frame;
Whoſe glow the paſſions of her breaſt reveal
Bright bloſſoms of a future ripening flame!
In clouds drew on the evening’s cloſe,
Which croſs the weſt in ranges ſtood,
As penſive Gertrude ſought the wood,
And there the darkeſt thicket choſe;
While from her eyes amid the wild briar flows
A ſad and briny flood.
Dark o’er her head
Roll’d heavy clouds, while ſhowers,
Perfum’d by ſummer’s wild and ſpicy flowers,
Their ample torrents ſhed.
Why does ſhe mourn?
Why droop, like flowret nipp’d in early ſpring?
Alas! her tenderneſs meets no return!Love 021 C3r 21
Love hovers round her with his airy wing,
And warms her youthful heart with vain delight:
While Urban’s graceful form enchants her ſight,
And from his eyes ſhoots forth the poiſonous ſting,
Another’s charms th’ impaſſion’d youth inſpir’d,
The ſportive Rosamonde his genius fir’d.
The drops which glide down Gertrude’s cheeks
Mid bitter agonies did flow;
And though awhile her pallid lips might glow,
’Twas as a bloſſom blighted ſoon with woe:
Her diſregarded treſſes, wet with tears,
Hung o’er her panting boſom ſtraight and ſleek;
Her faithful heart was all deſpondency and fears.
The ſkies diſgorg’d, their laſt large drops refrain,
The cloudy hemiſphere’s no more perturb’d;
The leafy boughs, that had receiv’d the rain,
With guſts of wind diſturb’d,C3 Shake 022 C3v 22
Shake wild their ſcattering drops o’er glade and plain;
They fall on Gertrude’s breaſt, and her white garments ſtain.
Sighing, ſhe threw her mantle o’er her head,
And through the brakes towards her manſion ſped;
Unheedingly her veſtments drew along,
Sweeping the tears that to the branches hung:
And as ſhe paſs’d
O’er the ſoak’d road, from off the ſhining graſs,
In clods around her feet the moiſt earth clung.
The clouds diſpers’d, again to ſight
The evening ſun glow’d lambent bright;
And forcing back the lowering ſhades,
Spread its enlivening beams, and kindled mid the glades:
With high-wrought verdure every object glow’d,
And purple hills their glittering manſions ſhow’d.
The univerſal gleam invites to ſport,
For toil and care ceaſe with the ebbing day;2 Th’ 023 C4r 23
Th’ induſtrious youths to plains or groves reſort,
Dance on the lawn, or o’er the hillocks ſtray.
Gertrude, wandering up a lane,
From among the winding trees,
Fann’d by a refreſhing breeze,
Aſcends upon the gliſtening plain.
Acroſs gay Iris flung her bow,
Reflecting each celeſtial ray;
As if the flowers that deck’d the May
Were there exhal’d, and through its watery pores did glow.
From a fair covert, Urban’s gay reſort,
A whiſtling pipe in warbling notes reſpir’d;
The well-known ſound invites each youth to ſport,
And every heart its harmony inſpir’d;
While from each mead,
So thick with daiſies ſpread,C4 The 024 C4v 24
The bounding nymphs with fairy lightneſs ſprung,
And gayly wild their ſportive ſonnets ſung;
The air was ſcented by the odorous flowers,
Bright ſprinkled with the dews of freſh-fall’n ſhow’rs.
Of lively grace, and dimpled ſmiles,
Slim Cynthia, the refin’d,
Came, with neat Phillis, full of trickſome wiles;
While Silvius ſtroll’d behind,
Chas’d by the marble-hearted Rosalind:
With her obſequious ſervant Hodge.
Blythe from the mill, which briſkly turning round
Made the young zephyrs breathe a rural ſound,
Leap’d Charles, gay glowing with induſtrious heat,
Active to lead in every ruſtic feat:
Back from his brows he ſhook his wavy locks,
And turning quick his lively eyes,His 025 C5r 25
His lovely, modeſt Peggy ſpies,
Returning with her aged father’s flocks.
Straight with his hand he gave his heart ſincere,
Devoid of order danc’d, and whiſtled loud and clear.
Hebe, a blooming, ſprightly fair,
With ſhallow Ned, an ill-match’d pair;
Simple Daphne, roſy John,
And ever-blundering Heleson:
From a large manſion, gloom’d by ſhading trees,
Forth ſprung the ſtar-ey’d Luisse;
Graceful her treſſes flow’d around,
Like ſcatter’d clouds, that catch the moon’s pale beams;
Scarcely ſhe ſeem’d to touch the verdant ground,
But, as inſpir’d, along the plain ſhe ſtreams.
More join the flock;—they ſpring in air,
Light as wing’d doves, and like to doves they pair;
The ſun’s laſt ray now linger’d o’er their head,
And ſweets delectable around were ſpread.
Poor Gertrude, hid amongſt the trees, ſurvey’d
Each ardent youth, each blooming maid;
And as ſhe gaz’d,
Pleaſure by ſlow degrees within her ſenſes ſteals:
Her eyes, with tears impearl’d, ſhe rais’d,
Her heart each ſweet ſenſation feels;
Lightly her feet the graſſy meadows tread,
While muſic’s power deludes her from her cares;
Among the nymphs, by its ſoft influence led,
Her ſympathetic breaſt their raptures ſhares.
Thus while ſhe felt, and join’d the lively throng,
Lo! quick aſcends the plain
The glory of each ſwain,
Urban, with ſportive ſong,
Whoſe chearful notes in frolic meaſures fled;
Fleet-footed, glowing Rosamonde, he led:
The rapture of the lark her voice ſent forth,
Too well, ah! Gertrude knew its worth;Dire 027 C6r 27
Dire tremblings ſoon her ſpirits ſeize:
Could ſhe, vain untaught nymph, aſpire to pleaſe?
Her body owns no grace,
No ſmiles, no dimples, deck her eyes or face:
She feels that ſhe has nought to prize;
Yet, totally devoid of art,
Expreſſion’s charm was her’s, with beaming eyes,
A voice ſoul-reaching, and a feeling heart.
She turn’d around—
The flying breezes looſen’d to the air
Her ill-beſeeming veſts, her ſcatter’d hair:
So ſad ſhe look’d, ſo artleſs was her woe,
As from a thinking mind had drawn a tear;
But joy through every vein had ſtole,
And mirth ſhut out the ſympathetic glow.
The heart’s gay dance admits of no controul,
Sweet joys but ſeldom through our ſenſes ſteal;
Tis pity then we ſhould forget to feel.
Gay wicked wit amid the circle ſpread,
And wanton round the lively ſallies ſped;
Each neat-trimm’d maiden laugh’d with playful glee,
Whom whiſpering ſwains divert with mimickry.
Fair Rosamonde, whoſe rival boſom burn’d,
With taunting mirth directs young Urban’s eyes;
He, with miſchievous archneſs, ſmiles return’d,
Amid whoſe circles wounding ſatires riſe;
Their ſportive feet ſtill beat the flowery ground,
While wicked looks, and jeſts, and jeers went round.
Pierc’d by their inſults, ſtung with bitter ſmart,
Sad fell poor Gertrude’s tears, high heav’d her heart.
Diſtant ſhe flew, and ſitting on a ſtone,
Conceal’d, gave ſorrow vent, and wept alone:
Till ’mid her grief, a virtuous juſt diſdain
Came to her aid, and made her boſom glow;
With ſhame ſhe burns, ſhe bluſhes at her woe,
And wonders at her weakneſs and her pain.“Unhappy 029 C7r 29
Unhappy maid! ſhe cry’d, thou art to blame,
Thus to expoſe thy virtuous breaſt to ſhame:
Poor heart! thy love is laugh’d at for its truth;
Yet ’tis a holy treaſure, though diſdain’d,
And wantonly by thoughtleſsneſs profan’d;
Ah! why then waſte the bleſſings of thy youth?
No more fair reaſon’s ſacred light deſpiſe;
Thy heart may bleſſings find
That dwell not in the eyes,
But in the virtues of the feeling mind.
Solemn is night, when Silence holds her reign,
And the huſh’d winds die on the heaving main;
When no ſhort gleam of ſcatter’d light appears,
Nor lunar beams make faint the nobler ſtars;
Then thoſe whom inward cares deprive of reſt
Pour forth the ſecret ſorrows of the breaſt.
Such was the night—ſmooth glides the bark along,
From whence young Henry breath’d his thoughtful ſong;
Pacing the deck, he threw his eyes around
The thick-ſtarr’d firmament, and vaſt profound;
The patient winds ſcarce whiſtled o’er the waiſt,
The burning waves the veſſel’s prow embrac’d;
The nitrous air unclouded glow’d on high,
With northern meteors trembling through the ſky.“Eternal 031 C8r 31
Eternal Power! he cried, with juſtice fraught,
O! teach a wretch to curb each ſtubborn thought,
Whoſe paſſions reaſon’s powers no more reſtrain,
Grown wanton midſt intolerable pain.
Wandering in the ſtill of eve,
While ſongſters homeward cleave the air,
With lively notes my voice I tun’d,
To uſher in the ev’ning ſtar;
But ſtraying near a woody brake,
Sweet ſounds of melody aſcend,
Oft intermix’d with ſighs and tears:
Anxious a pitying ear I lend,
As from a vale below thus ſad they roll’d:
Ah! idiot Fortune, why
Should genius ſmother’d die
When fled by baſe deluſive gold?
When fled by baſe deluſive gold?
Down ſunk the ſun, nor ſhed one golden ray,
But riſing miſts ſhut in the low’ring day:
The tides o’erflown had drench’d the ſwampy turf,
And drizzling rains bedew’d the dreary earth;
The riſing moon a bloody meteor ſeem’d,
And, ſcarce obſerv’d, the muffled planets gleam’d;
The winds were huſh’d in ſilence moſt profound,
And night’s dim ſhades hung heavily around.
Holbain, a youth benighted in his courſe,
Led o’er the marſhy plains his fiery horſe;
Involving treacherous miſts delude his ſight,
While loſt he wander’d through the dreary night.
With ſpeed his blood grew warm, his pulſes beat,
The ſpirits to his panting heart retreat;
Till now a ſtranger to his daring breaſt.An 037 D3r 37
An unknown, trackleſs waſte before him lay,
And boggy marſhes intercept his way;
His eager pace is check’d by dangerous ſwamps,
Or ſtopping he is chill’d by mizzling damps.
Alone, his active mind conſpir’d with fear,
And fancied forms impregnated the air:
Lightly he ſtepp’d, of every ſound afraid,
And often ſtartled by the ſteed he led,
Which as he curb’d unruly rear’d and neigh’d.
Clearing the clouds, a ſudden guſt aroſe,
Sigh’d through the woods, and ſhook the wat’ry boughs
Alarm’d, his hand his courſer’s rein forſook,
Which free, impetuous o’er the meadows broke;
In bounding circles ſtrove to heave along,
Clogg’d ’mid the ſlimy mud, and fiercely ſtrong;
Snorting with direful rage, he madd’ning flies,
Then plung’d, and ſmother’d in a quagmire dies.
Grief pierc’d the youth, while idle terrors flew,
And gloomy fancies melted from his view.
He look’d around;—no ſpectres haunt his ſight,
(For riſing winds had ſwept the miſty night)
The moon amid the parting vapours rode,
And o’er the earth a varying light beſtow’d.
Mourning his generous friend, while ſad he ſtood,
The ſound of feet he heard, and turning, view’d
Near him a man, quick paſſing o’er the plain,
His aſpect peaceful, and his veſtments plain;
So thin, he look’d the image of decay,
And cloſely wrapp’d to keep night’s chills away.
Holbain ſalutes him, and enquires what care
Tempts him through damps to truſt the midnight air?
Say rather, he replied, what cauſe has led
Thy daring feet to croſs this dangerous mead,
Where fenny quagmires, ſhrouded by the night,
Bury the traveller, and delude the ſight?—
But well I know the paſs, and I will ſet thee right.
O’erjoy’d, the youth his proffer’d aid embrac’d,
Repeats his wanderings, and his fears retrac’d;
Tells how ’mid fogs, bewilder’d in his courſe,
He ’mongſt the marſhes loſt his faithful horſe;
Then names his deſtin’d journey, and the road,
Which he, miſtaking, had unwary trod.
Thou’rt far, alas! from home, the ſenior cried,
The path ſo intricate I ſcarce can guide;
But if you’ll be the partner of my way,
And deign beneath my humble roof to ſtay;
Soon as to-morrow ſhall return the light
My ſon ſhall tend thy ſteps, and ſet thee right.
Holbain his ardent gratitude confeſs’d,
And oft-repeated thanks his joy expreſs’d.
Onward together as their courſe they ſpeed
The youth recounts the virtues of his ſteed;D4 The 040 D4v 40
The other patient liſten’d, nor reprov’d,
For ’midſt his warmth he trac’d a mind he lov’d.
Quitting the plains, they paſs where awful ſtood,
Grown thick with age, a wild majeſtic wood,
Where lofty trees their ſolemn branches ſpread,
And winds loud whiſtling ſung around their head;
Th’ autumnal blight the wither’d leaves had ſtrow’d,
And bright the moon her awful viſage ſhow’d:
Rugged and long the way, and late the night,
But pleaſing converſe made the journey light.
Beguiling time, the elder thus begun,
While native ſweetneſs on his accents hung:
Say, youth, to what profeſſion art thou bred?
By glory fir’d, or by the Muſes led?
Or does philoſophy thy mind pervade?
Or ſeek you riches in the world of trade?
Glory, reply’d the youth, has ſpread its charms;
Impatient grew to ſignalize my name,
And took the brighteſt road that led to fame.
And what is fame? the ſenior calm replies;
Diſtinctly ſpeak, that I may prove thee wiſe.
Fame, Holbain cried, like a celeſtial light,
Ardent thou ſpeak’ſt, with ſmiles rejoin’d the ſire,
Yet be not dazzled while thou doſt aſpire;
Though thoſe whom Fame ’midſt her bright glories place
Shine forth examples to the human race,Whoſe 042 D5v 42
Whoſe every act the crowd with tranſports view,
And indiſcriminate their paths purſue,
Whether their tract a noble end diſplays,
Or ſplendent vices catch fame’s dazzling rays:
But be it thine to check ambition’s flame,
And cloſely link with juſtice love of fame;
Which ſhining with intrinſic luſtre bright,
With virtue’s beams will dart th’ immortal light.
Heroes too long, of human glory proud,
Inſatiable have drench’d the world with blood;
Too loud the bards their frantic deeds reſound,
While blinded mortals raviſh’d liſten round.
Deteſted race! yet oft I feel the fire
Which urg’d them on, and mental ſtrength admire;
Where Virtue ſits, and Genius wings her flights;
But monſtrous crimes in ſoils luxuriant grow,
Strong powers ill govern’d ſink us deep below.
Civilization, as it taught mankind,
To individuals different taſks aſſign’d:“No 043 D6r 43
No more the appetites abſorb our cares,
The mind breaks forth, and nobler functions ſhares;
The poliſh’d arts with active fancy riſe,
And Nature’s mazes draw our wondering eyes;
Genius finds wider ſcope, and mounting high
Exploring truth dawns with divinity!
But ſhame, deep ſhame to the inventive mind,
’Mid heavenly ſtudies ſtill to blood inclin’d,
And, hunting not our food, we hunt mankind!
Nature has countleſs wonders ſtrow’d around,
Through air, the pregnant earth, and vaſt profound;
Where latent truths, evading common view,
Open pure leſſons to the thinking few;
Who, truly wiſe, while fiercer paſſions die,
Learn the frail ſtate of their mortality.
The finer arts my admiration claim,
As inoffenſive paths to boundleſs fame;
Hence Poeſy ſupreme in glory ſoars,
Whoſe ſearching eye the heavens and earth explores!3 “Its 044 D6v 44
Its rapid flight nor ſpace nor time can bound,
The world of ſpirits, or the pow’rs of ſound.
Nor does the painter vain exert his art,
Who, tracing Nature through each varying part,
Arreſts the ſtrongeſt paſſions in their courſe,
And gives us time to contemplate their force.
Friend to ſuch arts as Nature’s works pourtray,
No ſtormy paſſions cloud my evening ray:
Sorrow in vain has ſtrove to break a heart
Whoſe wiſhes ne’er from ſimple truth depart;
The charm of life, its griefs, its date I know,
And from theſe lights my inward comforts flow;
For, while my reaſon Nature’s ways explores,
Religion ſtrengthens, and my ſoul adores!
They now had reach’d the confines of the wood,
Where, girt with trees, the ſtranger’s manſion ſtood,
To which they bend; the ſhining moon was gone,
And ſcatter’d ſtars beam’d through the heavens alone.Soft 045 D7r 45
Soft at the door his ſtick the ſire applies,
Which opening quick, light glanc’d againſt their eyes:
His children ran with eager arms t’ embrace
Their welcome ſire, and kiſs his much-lov’d face;
Anxious to know what cauſe could him detain,
In a drear night, chill’d by autumnal rain.
Anſwering by turns, in pleaſing tones he greets,
While he and Holbain ’midſt them take their ſeats.
His daughters tend him with aſſiduous care,
And cheerful ſmiles domeſtic joys declare;
Artleſs their forms, with modeſt plainneſs dreſs’d,
His eldeſt ſon the youthful ſtranger greets,
While he, with ſmiles, his happy chance repeats;
Two younger boys obey their ſiſter’s word,
And with refreſhing viands ſpread the board.
Now Holbain’s eyes attentively ſurvey
Th’ inſtructive partner of his rugged way:
Waſted by care, he view’d the placid ſire,
His large light eyes ſtill beam’d with mental fire;Submiſſively 046 D7v 46
Submiſſively ſerene his pleaſing brow,
His lips, though pale, with genial ſmiles could glow;
His manners ſimple, but his thoughts refin’d,
Nor elegance was wanting to his mind.
His gueſt he welcomes, and with pleaſing voice
Prays him to ſhare his board and homely joys:
The artleſs youth with cheerful ſmiles partook,
Then round the table threw a happy look.
His fine eyes ſparkle, and his boſom burns;
The elder youth, more ſilent than the reſt,
Seem’d with the recent marks of grief impreſs’d.
One daughter near her father took her place,
Filial affection beaming in her face;
Her features plain, her cheeks no roſes die,
No radiance kindles in her modeſt eye;
But feeling, ſenſe, and purity combine,
A powerful charm, and with expreſſion ſhine:
Amid her ſiſter’s locks the Graces ſtray,
Soften’d her eyes, and fluſh’d her cheeks like May.Holbain 047 D8r 47
Holbain delighted ſhar’d the ſweet repaſt,
Which filial love, good ſenſe, and beauty grac’d;
Unwilling he at laſt retir’d to reſt,
With love for the whole family impreſs’d.
Soon as the beams which chace the glowing dawn
Play’d o’er the hills, and mark’d diſtinct the morn,
He ſprung from reſt, all eager to ſurvey
The manſion where ſo many virtues lay:
Delighted he beheld the bleſs’d retreat,
Where uſeful plainneſs, taſte, and order meet.
Neat was the bounteous garden, pal’d around,
Which Autumn with her ripening tributes crown’d.
As ’mid the thick-grown trees ſome fruits he ſought,
The elder youth he met, abſorb’d, in thought,
Perturb’d within, irregular his pace,
And guſhing tears ſtream’d o’er his ſtrong-mark’d face:
Striving to paſs unſeen, he met his eyes,
Nor could his heaving breaſt repreſs deep ſighs.Holbain 048 D8v 48
Holbain confus’d ſtrove quickly to depart
(Sacred he deem’d the feelings of the heart.)
The other, following, ſaid, With ſhame I glow,
To be ſurpris’d in this unmanly woe:
Serene my father each affliction bears,
But larger griefs impel my copious tears:
Fall’n low from ſtate and envied happineſs,
Deeply does grief this ſanguine heart impreſs;
Bitter remorſe ’mid ſad reflections riſe,
And joy in vain would ſhine to glad theſe eyes;
But liſten, while my faultering lips impart
What may excuſe this weakneſs of my heart;
Juſt woke from madneſs, thought aſtoniſh’d turns,
Feels the dire hand of fate, and inward burns:—
Thoughtful he paus’d;—while Holbain ſilent pray’d,
And with ſtrong ſympathy the youth ſurvey’d:
Myſterious do thy ways, O God! appear,
But, born to ſuffer, man muſt learn to bear.
Divinely pour religion through the ſoul,
For that alone the paſſions can controul!
Each ſtood abſorb’d, till ſummon’d to repair
Within the hall, the morn’s repaſt to ſhare;
Th’ obtruſion gave them pain—a while they ſtay,
Then, walking ſlow, wip’d the hot tears away.
Holbain again the virtuous father meets,
And with the morning’s ſalutation greets;
As penſively around his eyes he throws,
Strong to his mind their loſs and patience roſe:E4 Then 056 E4v 56
Then ’mid the family he took his place,
And charm’d beheld the younger daughter’s grace:
More ſweet ſhe looks by day, the lovely die
Of her fair cheeks with brighteſt flowrets vie,
Her azure eyes ſhot forth a lucid ray,
O’er her white neck her amber ringlets ſtray.
An anxious wiſh warm kindled in his breaſt,
Its noble fire his guileleſs eyes confeſs’d;
A pleas’d remembrance of his wealth aroſe,
His breaſt benevolent with rapture glows.
Lingering he ſtrove to lengthen out his ſtay,
And tore himſelf at laſt by force away;
But firſt the ſire’s permiſſion did obtain
To viſit this delightful ſpot again;
When friendſhip ſtrengthening, into union grew,
And happier ſcenes unfolded to their view.
On Leaving the Country Early in the Spring.
While joy re-animates the fields,
And ſpring her odorous treaſures yields;
While love inſpires the happy grove,
And muſic breaks from every ſpray;
I leave the ſweet retreat I love
Ere bloſs’ming hawthorn greets the May;
Sad deſtiny! O! let me plaintive pour
O’er the unopen’d bud an unrefreſhing ſhower.
To yonder hills, which bound the ſight,
Where bluſhing eve diſſolves in night,
To the wild heath, o’er which the gale
Bleak wafts each ſweet perfume of ſpring,
And to the weed-grown briary vale
Sorrowing the parting lay I ſing;“Sweet 058 E5v 58
Sweet flowers of ſpring, enlivening day,
Nature’s unfolding charms fleet faſt away.
At morn I’ve view’d the glimmering light
Break from the eaſt, and chaſe the night;
Then ſtray’d amid the froſty dews,
While ſoaring larks ſhrill chanting riſe,
And mark’d the thouſand varying hues
That ſtreak the glowing morning ſkies.
Sweet air of ſpring, enlivening day,
Nature’s unfolding charms fleet faſt away.
No daſied lawns ſhall greet my eye,
Reluctant from their ſweets I fly;
No more, wild wandering o’er the plains,
I ſhare each innocent delight;
The tinkling flocks, the woodland ſtrains,
The rural dance no more invite.
Sad deſtiny! O! let me plaintive pour
O’er the unopen’d bud an unrefreſhing ſhower.
Verses Written in the Spring.
From yon fair hill, whoſe woody creſt
The mantling hand of ſpring has dreſs’d,
Where gales imbibe the May-perfume,
And ſtrew the bluſhing almond’s bloom,
I view the verdant plains below,
And lucid ſtreams which gently flow;
The opening foliage, drench’d with ſhowers,
And while before my temper’d eye
From glancing clouds ſwift ſhadows fly,
While nature ſeems ſerene and bleſs’d,
And inward concord tunes my breaſt,
I ſigh for thoſe by fortune croſs’d,
Whoſe ſouls to Nature’s charms are loſt.
Whether by love of wealth betray’d,
Abſorb’d in all the arts of trade,
Or deep engroſs’d in mighty ſchemes,
Toſs’d in ambition’s empty dreams,
Or proud amid the learned ſchools,
Stiffen’d by dull pedantic rules,
Or thoſe who ne’er from forms depart,
The ſlaves of faſhion and of art.
O! loſt to bliſs! the pregnant air,
The riſing ſun, the ripening year,
The embrios that on every buſh
’Midſt the wild notes of ſongſters bluſh;
The violet’s ſcent, the varying hues
Which morn’s light ray ſtrikes ’mid the dews,
To them are loſt—involv’d in care,
They cannot feel, they cannot ſhare.
I grieve, when round I caſt my eyes,
And feel a thouſand pleaſures riſe,That 061 E7r 61
That this fair earth, by Heaven beſtow’d,
(Which human fury ſtains with blood)
Should teem with joys which reach the heart,
And man be thus abſorb’d in art.
Written in Devonshire, Near the Dart.
Hail, Devon! in thy boſom let me reſt,
And pour forth muſic from my raptur’d breaſt:
I’ll ſtray thy meadow’d hills
And plains along,
And loudly ſing the widely-varied ſong,
Tracing thy rivers, and thy bubbling rills.
Oft, riſing from the ſea, the tempeſt lours,
And buoy’d on winds the clouds majeſtic ſail,
Which ſcattering burſt in wide and frequent ſhowers,
Swelling the ſtreams which glide thro’ every vale;
Yet are the marſhy plains bedeck’d with flowers,
And balmy ſweets are borne on every gale.
Where dart romantic winds its mazy courſe,From 063 E8r 63
From whence each creeping rill its ſtore diſtils,
And wandering waters join with rapid force;
There Nature’s hand has wildly ſtrewn her flowers,
And varying proſpects ſtrike the roving eyes;
Rough-hanging woods o’er cultur’d hills ariſe;
Thick ivy ſpreads around huge antic towers,
And fruitful groves
Scatter their bloſſoms faſt as falling ſhowers,
Perfuming ev’ry ſtream which o’er the landſcape pours.
Along the graſſy banks how ſweet to ſtray,
When the mild eve ſmiles in the glowing weſt,
And lengthen’d ſhades proclaim departing day,
And fainting ſun-beams in the waters play,
When every bird ſeeks its accuſtom’d reſt!
How grand, to ſee the burning orb deſcend,
And the grave ſky wrapp’d in its nightly robes,
Whether reſplendent with the ſtarry globes,Or 064 E8v 64
Or ſilver’d by the mildly-ſolemn moon,
When nightingales their lonely ſongs reſume,
And folly’s ſons their babbling noiſe ſuſpend!
Or when the darkening clouds fly o’er the ſea,
And early morning beams a chearful ray,
Waking melodious ſongſters from each tree;
How ſweet beneath each dewy hill
Amid the pleaſing ſhades to ſtray,
Where nectar’d flowers their ſweets diſtil,
Whoſe watery pearls reflect the day!
To ſcent the jonquil’s rich perfume,
To pluck the hawthorn’s tender briars,
As wild beneath each flowery hedge
Fair ſtrawberries with violets bloom,
And every joy of ſpring conſpires!
Nature’s wild ſongſters from each buſh and tree
Invite the early walk, and breathe delight;What 065 F1r 65
What boſom heaves not with warm ſympathy
When the gay lark ſalutes the new-born light?
Hark! where the ſhrill-ton’d thruſh,
Sweet whiſtling, carols the wild harmony!
The linnet warbles, and from yonder buſh
The robin pours ſoft ſtrains of melody!
Hail, Devon! while through thy lov’d woods I ſtray,
O! let me loudly pour the grateful lay!
Tell each luxuriant bank where violets grow,
Each mazy vale, where fragrant woodbines wind,
How much of their bewitching charms they owe
To the ſweet peace which fills my happy mind.
Ah! where again will it ſuch pleaſures find?
O, lov’d ſociety! the heartfelt lay
Is all the humble Muſe can now beſtow;
Thy praiſes ſtill I ſing, as on I ſtray,
Writ in my heart amid each ſtrain they flow.
Tune, The Heavy Hours.
The balmy comforts that are fled
To me no more return,
Though Nature’s ſweets around are ſhed,
Amid thoſe ſweets I mourn.
With organs fram’d to taſte delight,
My ſoul its functions tries,
I feel, I ſee—but from my ſight
The tranſient landſcape flies.
The glimmering beams of opening day,
Shot through a watery ſky,
Deluſive glowing tints diſplay,
But ſoon o’erwhelm’d they die.
’Twas thus my youth in brightneſs dawn’d,
My paſſions caught the glow,Some 067 F2r 67
Some ray of bliſs each cloud adorn’d
Which teem’d with future woe.
Torn from each joy that ſoothes the heart,
All other pleaſures fly,
My thoughts purſue the toils of art,
My feelings muſic try.
Then, O, my ſoul! thy pow’rs divine
Strengthen’d in virtue rear;
Pour from thy breaſt, in ſongs ſublime,
Thy grief—and learn to bear.
Elegy on a Young Lady.
Transcendent beauty moulders ’midſt the earth!
Exquiſite tints fleet with the morning dews!
All nature teems with life, while blaſting death
Diſſolves each form; but time again renews,
From the earth’s fullneſs, freſh perpetual ſtores:
But O! the individual ſoul to us is loſt!
And unreſign’d we weep, by paſſions toſt,
While ’mid the tuneful ſpheres in bliſs it ſoars!
If there is harmony below;—
If ever melancholy,
Touch’d by melody,
Her blacken’d veil withdrew;
I’ll ſtrike the chords whence ſolemn numbers flow,
And ſhowers of ſoftening tears ſhall eaſe my woe,
Weeping the faireſt flower that ever blew!A flower, 069 F3r 69
A flower, whoſe bloom,
By grief untimely nipp’d,
Was hurried to the tomb:
The ſpirit, of mortal luſtre ſtripp’d,
Flew from its blighted frame below;
Her virgin virtues were exhal’d above,
While o’er the corpſe ſad ſtreams of bitter woe
Delug’d the relick of our former love.
My breaſt, a while your potent ſighs reſtrain,
And as I ſing,
Ye ſcatter’d notes of harmony
Waft here on heavenly wing
The ſpiritual maid again.
O! let me catch a glimpſe by fancy’s ray,
And mentally behold the virgin fair,
Who was from our embraces ſnatch’d away,
A martyr to deſpair!
Seraphic, young, and free!—
She ſmil’d like morning op’ning on the heaven!F3 Bleſs’d, 070 F3v 70
Of earth’s felicity,
To her ’twas given
To ſolace human cares:
Her eyes, like ſhoooting ſtars,
Glanc’d ſwift as vivid lightning through the frame;
Poſſeſs’d of virtuous paſſion, and belov’d,
Pure, unalloy’d, ſtrong burnt the ſacred flame.
To what exceſs
Doſt thou delude the heart!
The ties moſt holy and moſt pure
We all muſt part!—
When, bitter tears, will your ſad ſource be dry?
When through the mental world will concord ſhine?
Man is the wreck of man;—the ſoul divine
For frail mortality I heave the potent ſigh!
Lo! unzon’d paſſions, brooking no controul,
Tranſgreſſing Nature’s laws, ruſh madly on,
Wounding the ſacred manſion of the ſoul,
And unreſign’d, in wild exceſs grow ſtrong.
With love’s diſtracting ſmart,
Which diſappointments raſh and deſperate make,
Lo! Jaspar wild aſſails the virgin’s heart,
Whoſe conſtancy no energy can ſhake;
Though ſweet his lays, as if the Muſes ſung,
And Love’s warm paſſion harmoniz’d his tongue.
Repuls’d, his madden’d ſpirit knew no bounds,
Fierce in deſpair, to vengeance ſwift he flies,
And oft his rival’s heart in fancy wounds,
While unrein’d paſſion flaſhes from his eyes;
Wilder and wilder ſtill reſound his cries,
By furies driven on
To lengths before to him unknown,
Till on his murd’rous ſword his rival dies!F4 Ill-fated 072 F4v 72
Ill-fated ſon of earth!
At thy dire birth
Heaven fill’d thee as a horn with ſad calamity,
To ſcatter with thy breath
Contagious ſorrow round;
Till the dire fiend internal, fraught with death,
Threw thy young glories down!
Sudden deſpair ruſh’d on the virgin’s heart,
All that was mortal yielded to the ſtroke;
Forth the pure ſpirit broke,
Divided from its groſſer earthly part,
And wing’d with love ſeraphic mounts on high—
O! flattering hope! in immortality
T’ enjoy affections Nature tears away.
All here on earth is ſubject to decay,
And every day our leſſening comforts fly.
To whoſe dread will I bend,And 073 F5r 73
And tremblingly adore!
Forgive the tears which ſuffering mortals ſhed:
Aw’d by our loſs, and ſacred virtue’s pangs,
Stronger on future bleſſings we depend,
And learn how weak the thread
On which all human comfort hangs.
Humbled by ſorrow, low in earth I bend,
And yield the ſpotleſs virgin to the ſkies;
Nor need revenge provoke the direful ſteel,
For pierc’d by guilt the breathleſs culprit lies.
The Triumph of Superstition.
Raphael and Ianthe.
In Gothic times, when feudal laws obtain’d,
And tyranny with ſuperſtition reign’d,
Myſterious rites with dazzling ſhews confin’d
To narrow bounds the darken’d human mind;
Enſlaving forms excluded Truth’s pure light,
And wrapt the world in ſhades of mental night;
Where genius dawn’d it ſhot forth ſanguine gleams,
Its fires infus’d ambition’s frantic dreams;
Scar’d by the ſword, fair Freedom diſtant flew,
And men machines to guilty conquerors grew;
While gloomy ignorance the earth pervades,
And ſcience flies to deep romantic ſhades:
Yet ſtill the active mind retain’d ſome power,
The fruit was loſt, but ſtronger bloom’d the flower;3 Poetic 075 F6r 75
Poetic thoughts and deeds the brave combin’d,
And ſtrong imagination ſeiz’d the blind.
But when amid thoſe ſuperſtitious days
Some potent mind ſhed truth’s obtruſive rays,
Suſpicious prieſtcraft trembled at the ſight,
And ſtrove by horrid crimes t’ eclipſe the light.
The fair Ianthe, bright as riſing day,
Or the wild bloſſoms which unfold in May,
A victim fell to thoſe tyrannic times,
Accus’d by prieſts of ſupernat’ral crimes,
Becauſe ſome rays, with native genius fir’d,
Shot through her graceful eyes, and love inſpir’d;
While ſtill ſhe dar’d be innocent and free,
With wiſdom arm’d, and ſaint-like chaſtity.
By virtuous precepts form’d, this lovely maid
Was on the cold Helvetian mountains bred;But 076 F6v 76
But thither chas’d, fled with her aged ſire
From civil feuds, and perſecutions dire.
They ſought ſome ſpot where they might freely live,
And undiſturb’d fair Nature’s gifts receive.
O, wanderers vain! to ſeek for certain good,
Though kings and prieſts had ſtain’d the earth with blood;
Whoſe pride-ſwoln hearts, of tinſel’d virtues vain,
No feeling for men’s miſeries retain;
Hunting for fame, they idly ſport with life,
While claſhing int’reſts urge perpetual ſtrife.
Ianthe’s mind, pure, ſubtle, and profound,
With genuine force threw light on all around;
Through her clear eyes the fires of fancy glow,
While wiſdom flouriſh’d beauteous on her brow:
Her nerves, with force and quick ſenſations ſtrung,
Deepen’d her roſy lips, and fir’d her trembling tongue.
A glimpſe of truth her native genius caught,
For all around woke analyzing thought;She 077 F7r 77
She ſaw, abhorrent, perſecution’s rod,
And in her heart ſhe ſought the unknown God;
The God who lights the heavens, and rules the ſtorm,
Mix’d the pure elements, and gave them form!
Europe was in deſtructive wars engag’d,
Th’ Imperial Eagle and the Pontiff rag’d;
The ſword vaſt deſolation ſpread around,
And swains unheeded felt the fatal wound:
Selmo (ſuch was Ianthe’s father’s name)
Felt his blood freeze through his enfeebled frame;
Prone to repine, with age faſtidious grown,
He made the ſorrows of mankind his own.
Seeking for peace, through various realms they ſped,
Still hopes of bliſs like airy viſions fled;
Ianthe saw with grief her father’s mind,
While ſhunning ills, to Nature’s bleſſings blind:
Her youthful ſenſes oft with pleaſures glow,
She feels ſome good ſtill mix’d with human woe.
On ſpring’s ſweet cloſe, when foſtering Nature ſtrows
The earth with flowers, and all creation glows,
They reſted in Italia’s pleaſant vales,
Till vernal ſhowers were chas’d by warmer gales;
Then Selmo ſought to rove, whom nought can charm,
Though placid peace here breath’d a tranſient calm;
For ſtill he ſaw, with acrimonious eye,
The powers of prieſtcraft and of tyranny,
With indignation heard th’ uplifted rod
Of vile oppreſſors term’d the hand of God.
His fix’d deſign when fair Ianthe found,
Involuntary ſighs her boſom wound;
Suffus’d with tears, her eyes the fields ſurvey,
She preſs’d his hand, and warmly urg’d his ſtay.
Look round, ſhe cried; here ſmiling plenty blooms,
The ambient air breathes Nature’s rich perfumes.“Stay, 079 F8r 79
Stay, O my father! at my urgent prayer,
Theſe vales obſcure our Maker’s bounties ſhare;
The bliſs we ſeek the world may not contain,
We rove romantic, and our toils are vain;
In every ſpot we’ve varied miſeries found,
Though tranſient joys are ſcatter’d all around.
Ardent ſhe ſpoke, while hope a ray diffus’d,
But, ſtill reſolv’d, the reſtleſs sire refus’d;
Long on life’s troubled ocean he had toſt,
And now his reliſh of the calm was loſt:
Ianthe’s eyes ſtream’d o’er the lov’d retreat,
Of all the world this ſpot alone ſeem’d ſweet;
Her heaving breaſt unuſual anguiſh wrung,
And never ſo perſuaſive was her tongue.
Whence in her boſom did thoſe cares ariſe?
Say, was her genius fir’d by Raphael’s eyes?
Or did the heavenly muſic of his ſong
Infuſe its warmth to urge her glowing tongue?Frequent 080 F8v 80
Frequent their bland ſociety he ſought,
His genuine converſe woke expanding thought;
Oft mingling lays with ſuch tranſcendent art
As fir’d her fancy while they reach’d her heart.
Tears he ſaw gliſten in Ianthe’s eye,
Her boſom heaving with the parting ſigh;
With quickeſt ſympathy he caught her ſmart,
While mix’d emotions vibrate in his heart:
Ianthe’s fire, her form replete with grace,
The roſy bluſh which crimſon’d o’er her face,
Pervade his ſoul; her graceful hand he preſs’d,
And, with conſent, the feeble ſire addreſs’d,
Urging their ſtay: with fear he rapid ſpeaks,
While anxious feelings ting’d his ardent cheeks;
Though fretful anger from old Selmo broke,
With ardour irreſiſtible he ſpoke.
Both plead at once, ſtrong arguments they pour,
With anxious tears, and each perſuaſive power;
His firſt reſolves before their wiſhes melt,
For latent motives in their force he felt:He 081 G1r 81
He yields;—young Raphael points his piercing eyes,
Quick warm ſuffuſions o’er Ianthe riſe;
A ſudden ſhower fell o’er her bluſhing cheeks,
And her delight too eloquently ſpeaks.
Then Selmo choſe a more obſcure retreat,
To build a humble manſion, plainly neat,
Diſtant from where the feudal lords reſide,
Amid a wood, and on a hill’s warm ſide;
Her wild profuſions Nature ſtrow’d around,
And friendly rills refreſh’d the ſhaggy ground;
Raphael aſſiſtance yields; his ſkilful hand
Hew’d the rough trees, and plough’d th’ unfurrow’d land;
To Nature true, by pureſt thought refin’d,
No idle ſcorn of toil debas’d his mind.
Ianthe with fine taſte the flowers combines,
And round their manſion ſpreads the ſwelling vines.
Oft Raphael works beſide th’ inspiring maid,
And tender paſſions all his powers invade;
Celeſtial was the muſic of her tongue,
He added force, and wrote th’ extatic ſong;
His tuneful lays fair Nature’s works diſcloſe,
And latent truth drawn forth reflected glows;
Mute on his burning lips love trembling hung,
While ſtrong expreſſion mark’d each feeling ſong;
Her kindling cheeks with deeper bluſhes glow,
And tremulous her warbling meaſures flow.
The jealous Selmo views, with watchful eyes,
Their mutual paſſions as they ſtrengthening riſe;
A parent’s care hung heavy at his breaſt,
Till freely they their artleſs loves confeſs’d;
Then late he felt freſh happineſs to dawn,
And ’midſt life’s winter view’d one glowing morn.
The eyes of Raphael, piercing as the light,
Spoke his whole ſoul, and ſparkled with delight.Ianthe 083 G2r 83
Ianthe ſtrives her tranſports to conceal,
And ’midſt her ringlets her deep bluſhes veil.
Old Selmo bleſs’d them, while a grateful tear
Flow’d from his eyes, and mingled with the prayer.
One eve the kindling heavens reſplendent ſhone,
While ſinking Phœbus girds his crimſon zone,
Whoſe glorious beams through tracts immenſe were ſhed,
And not one cloud o’er heaven’s vaſt arch was ſpread:
Amongſt the woods Ianthe ſtray’d afar,
Marking the luſtre of the evening ſtar;
On her fair face the ſetting ſun-beams glow,
To Nature’s God her ſongs enraptur’d flow:
As on ſhe wander’d, fearleſs of alarms,
Arno from far beheld her graceful charms:
Arno, the child of fortune and of fame,
Whoſe nervous manhood early deeds proclaim;G2 A noble 084 G2v 84
A noble ſtrength of thought his ſoul inſpires,
But foſter’d paſſion fed vindictive fires;
In his large eyes ſtrong ſenſe and feeling glow,
But anger roſe like thunder on his brow:
Vaſt his deſigns, with riſing pride he ſtrode,
And wild ambition taints his youthful blood;
Lawleſs he tramples o’er the peaſant’s corn,
O’erleaps the fence, and treads the flowery lawn.
To give his thoughts a large unbounded ſweep;
Mus’d on the Bard Homer. who godlike heroes ſung,
And caught their fire from his inſpired tongue;
Strong to endure, he nurs’d an ardent flame,
Miſtaking virtue, call’d it thirſt of fame;
Each generous thought his ample heart could move,
Though violent in hate, yet boundleſs in his love.
While o’er the fields his rolling eyes he threw,
Ianthe like a ſeraph met his view;6 Almoſt 085 G3r 85
Almoſt a viſion of his brain ſhe ſeem’d
(Whoſe warmth indulg’d with thouſand phantoms teem’d);
Uncertain what ſhe was, her path he croſs’d,
He ſtopp’d, he gaz’d, in admiration loſt.
The fires of love ſeem’d glancing from her eyes,
Her glowing cheeks were ting’d with heavenly dies;
O’er her light frame bewitching graces ſtray’d,
And ’midſt her ſmiles a thouſand charms pourtray’d.
Entranc’d he gaz’d—at once her power confeſs’d,
And youthful tranſports fir’d his manly breaſt.
The blind reſtor’d ſcarce feel more ſtrong delight,
When heaven’s vaſt orb firſt ſtrikes th’ aſtoniſh’d ſight.
He caught her hand, and breath’d impaſſion’d ſighs,
While fear and anger fluſh’d her cheeks and eyes;
Quick from his graſp her hand ſhe trembling drew,
And, wing’d with terror, ſwift as light ſhe flew.
Aw’d by the virtue ſacred on her brow,
Unuſual feelings through his boſom glow;G3 He 086 G3v 86
He ſaw her ſhoot before him as a ſtar
Which, meteor-like, darts through the hemiſphere;
Her magic limbs he view’d, while on the wind
Her long luxuriant treſſes ſtream’d behind:
Ardent he gaz’d, loſt in romantic bliſs,
And doom’d with ſtrong reſolve Ianthe his.
To boundleſs paſſion all his heart reſign’d,
He ſhook each ſhackle from his haughty mind,
And following quick, ſtung at his own delay,
Bounds o’er each barrier which obſtructs his way:
Tortur’d he flew, more rapid from deſpair;
One glance he caught—to ſight her manſion roſe;
He ſaw her enter, and the portal cloſe.
Raſh in reſolve, and conſcious of his power,
With mad tyrannic force he wrench’d the door;
In fiercely ruſh’d;—but ſtarted as he view’d
Raphael, who by his lov’d Ianthe ſtood.Spent 087 G4r 87
Spent with her flight, ſhe on his arm reclin’d,
Smil’d in his eyes, and calm’d her fluttering mind.
The tyrant ſaw, but ſcarcely ſtopp’d to look,
His inmoſt ſoul with grief and anger ſhook:
Raphael he lov’d, had patroniz’d his lays,
Rais’d him from want, and crown’d with living bays;
Dare he, th’ admitted partner of his board,
Triumphant thwart th’ affections of his lord?
His horror-ſhedding brow in curls aroſe,
A threatening vengeance in his eye-balls glows;
Flaſhing with its ungovernable ſway,
He like an angry tempeſt burſt away.
Selmo his eyes towards Ianthe rais’d—
Ianthe, conſcious, trembled as he gaz’d;
Whate’er had paſs’d with faultering lips declares,
Spent with fatigue, and ſhook with riſing fears.
As Raphael heard, a ſecret pang poſſeſs’d
His anxious mind, and agitates his breaſt;G4 But 088 G4v 88
But this repreſſing, her lov’d hand he took,
And from the ardour of his paſſion ſpoke;
Their nuptial day he urg’d, while inward ſmart
Ton’d each perſuaſive word, and fir’d her heart.
While yet he ſpeaks loud tumults burſt the door,
And ſoldiers entering, round young Raphael pour;
From Arno ſent, his ſtern commands they brought,
Quick to convey him where his armies fought—
To diſtant regions, ſcenes to him unknown,
Where Arno’s power upheld a tyrant’s throne:
Thus forc’d along, reſiſtance were as vain
As if a pebble ſtrove to ſtem the main.
Raphael’s pure breaſt, where Virtue made abode,
By early thought with fortitude endow’d,
Too deeply pierc’d, no longer could controul
The deſperate ſorrow which o’erwhelm’d his ſoul;
Thoſe love-attractive orbs, his vivid eyes,
Convulſive roll’d, each thought confus’dly flies;Scarcely 089 G5r 89
Scarcely the drowned words a paſſage broke,
While raving, thus with agony he ſpoke:
Alas! each promis’d bleſſing torn away,
Ianthe falls the mighty victor’s prey!
O! dire effect of arbitrary power!
In vain their bitter tears the wretched pour!
Vainly thou beat’ſt thy breaſt, in vain thy cries,
Thy Raphael only gueſſes at thy ſighs!
Her quick-preſaging mind foreſaw the ſtroke,
And all her frame with inward tremblings ſhook;
Yet, ſtruggling with her pangs, ſhe powerful ſtrove
To calm his fears, and prove her ſtedfaſt love;
Infus’d fair hope, to ſnatch him from deſpair,
And claim’d protection of their Maker’s care;
Vows of eternal conſtancy ſhe paid,
And firmneſs ’midſt her tendereſt tears diſplay’d.
He ſaw her virtue with ſuch ſtrength combin’d,
That, truſting in the God who arm’d her mind,
He ſtrove ſublime to meet his fate reſign’d.
Selmo, by Arno’s lawleſs power diſmay’d,
Far from his reach had borne th’ unhappy maid;
But ruin threats him if he flies th’ abode
Where all his little wealth was now beſtow’d.
Ianthe’s mind, with conſcious worth elate,
Fearleſs decides her father’s wavering ſtate:
Secure within, tho’ ſtung with deepeſt ſmart,
She feels reſentment fire her daring heart;
She longs the tyrant’s ſpirit to controul,
To probe his vice, and humble his high ſoul;
And Selmo, proud of virtues he had rear’d,
Secure in them, no more the deſpot fear’d.
Impaſſion’d Arno, anxious to remove,
Unrival’d now, each barrier to his love,Skill’d 091 G6r 91
Skill’d in the world, and each ſeducing art,
Studies to wind around her widow’d heart;
All means he tries—too well his ardent mind,
Fertile in thought, could varying pleaſures find:
He forc’d a charm through ev’ry ſenſe to ſteal,
And ſtrove each baſer motive to conceal;
Yet vain his powers, no paſſion they impart,
Her mind deſpiſes and pervades his art.
Till now his ſpirit ne’er had borne controul,
She curbs his fires, but captivates his ſoul;
Still from her roſy lips ſweet muſic flies,
And radiant glances ſtill eſcape her eyes.
Seeking revenge, ſhe triumph’d in her power,
And taught the haughty tyrant to adore:
Wild ſatire vibrates from her ſcornful tongue,
And pointed truths each conſcious paſſion ſtung;
The flaſh of wit, inſpiring and ſevere,
Diſplay’d her hate, and fill’d him with deſpair.
Baffled and anger’d now, he ſues no more,
But aſks advice of ſaintly Theodore.
Alas! reply’d the prieſt, why ſhould my ſon
Conſult with me, ſince power is all his own?
Nature t’ adorn thy name with Fortune vies,
At thy command the unyielding rebel dies;
If ſuch thy wiſhes, ſay what power reſtrains?
For muſt thy youth be blaſted ’midſt its bloom,
And all thy glories wither in the tomb?
Thus ſpoke the prieſt; impetuous he complies,
And ruſhing joys burſt from his large black eyes.
Vile Theodore was early train’d in ſin,
But outward meekneſs hid the fiend within;
Religion’s cloak cloſe veil’d an atheiſt breaſt,
Which luſt and groſſeſt appetites poſſeſs’d.
Soon a dire ſcheme his brain inventive laid,
And prompt to execute, he ſeeks the maid;
But ſoon as he beheld her glowing charms,
His own frail breaſt a guilty paſſion warms;Her 093 G7r 93
Her graceful eyes, which glow’d with innate fire,
Her mental powers his wondering ſoul inſpire.
To Arno ſoon he ſhew’d an alter’d mind,
And, pleading conſcience, the baſe act reſign’d.
Th’ impaſſion’d Baron ſaw the vile intent,
Quick to perceive, and ardent to reſent.
And whence, with burning rage, aloud he cries,
This new-born conſcience? whence ſo lately wiſe?
O, fool! to truſt my ſecrets to a breaſt
By falſehood, craft, and ſelfiſhneſs poſſeſs’d
Yet guard thy actions, leſt my wrath be hurl’d,
And all thy crimes blaze forth before the world.
He ſpoke abrupt, and from his preſence broke,
But ſtung with deep remorſe in ſecret ſhook;
He felt the other’s baſeneſs, while deep ſhame
Paints his own crimes, and glows throughout his frame.
With purer thoughts again he ſeeks the maid,
Paſſion and grief his noble breaſt pervade,
Not more by beauty than her virtues fir’d,
And by her force and harmony inſpir’d.
Sincerity and ardour fir’d his eyes,
His manly boſom heav’d with potent ſighs;
Spite of herſelf, ſuch force his flames impart,
That all her conſtancy ſcarce ſav’d her heart.
Unknown of Arno, Theodore meanwhile
Oft viſits Selmo, and with ſubtle guile
In vileſt colours paints the Baron’s mind,
And charges him with crimes himſelf deſign’d.
Ianthe caught th’ alarm, with deepeſt ſmart
Trembling perceives his power pervade her heart;
Stung to the quick, repentance wrung her breaſt,
Humbled, her mind its impotence confeſs’d;
Bluſhing within, each though inflicts a wound,
And refuge oft near Theodore ſhe found;To 095 G8r 95
To him ſhe flies, as an inſtructive friend,
In whoſe ſage converſe all her powers extend.
Arno repuls’d, with wounded pride retires,
And ſought with nobler thoughts to quench his fires;
Too long to idle grief a willing prey,
With ſtrength of ſoul he curb’d its powerful ſway.
To Theodore’s intent Ianthe blind,
Sought for inſtruction from his well ſtor’d mind:
Her heart, for pure affections finely fram’d,
Seem’d torpid when its tributes were unclaim’d;
Unconſcious of the flame which burnt his heart,
With him ſhe ſtrays, her opening thoughts t’ impart:
And as he hears, beneath his ſhadowy brow
His eyes drank love, and ſwelling features glow.
Once, in the boſom of a ſilent grove,
Th’ unhallow’d prieſt profanely urg’d his love.—Shock’d 096 G8v 96
Shock’d and aſtoniſh’d, while ſhe calls for aid,
With lawleſs force he ſeiz’d the ſtruggling maid;
But her loud ſhrieks tranſpierc’d the air around:
In vain he ſtrove to ſuffocate the ſound;
Advancing feet of men and horſe he hears—
Scarcely ſhe breathes, her cheeks with anger fluſh,
O’er her whole frame deep ſpreads the crimſon bluſh;
From thoſe who proffer’d aid, with flaſhing eyes,
Confus’d, enrag’d, the trembling virgin flies.
Her ſuccourers advance, a noble train
Of royal hunters, bounding o’er the plain.
The prince commands to ſtop her as ſhe flies,
And aſks from whence aroſe thoſe piercing cries?
Panting and ſpent, the wretched nymph they caught,
And fainting to the prince and nobles brought:
By men ſurrounded, pierc’d by curious eyes,
Her heart within her fluttering boſom dies;The 097 H1r 97
The wretch ſhe names, his vile intention ſpeaks,
Her quick’ning pulſes throb, ſhame dies her burning cheeks.
Each youthful boſom, by her beauty fir’d,
Touch’d by her wrongs, was with revenge inſpir’d;
But moſt the prince, enrag’d, and threat’ning loud,
Deſtruction to the wretched miſcreant vow’d;
Charm’d with her youth, he bade her not to fear;
Himſelf conducts her to her father’s care:
Her eyes beam’d thanks, her cheeks ſpoke modeſty;
He gaz’d, and left her with an ardent ſigh.
By fair Ianthe into fury wrought,
The prince with eager haſte the culprit ſought;
The ſoldiers ſeize him, at their lord’s commands;
Humbly before th’ aſſembled court he ſtands.
The prieſts ſurrounding caſt a lowering eye,
Aloud the youthful lords for juſtice cry;H The 098 H1v 98
The prince, inflam’d, a faithful witneſs bears,
And menacing, the vile attempt declares;
Dauntleſs he ſtood, as if to vice unknown,
(For well he knew the weakneſs of the throne.)
Thy will, O God! be done, he cried aloud,
Then to the court with low ſubmiſſion bow’d;
But hear, juſt powers, a guiltleſs wretch reſign’d,
And guard from witchcraft the king’s ſacred mind;
Before her ſpells young Arno’s bloom decays,
And fierce on me th’ infernal poiſon preys.
He said no more, but firmly rais’d his eyes,
And with mock prayers inſults the awful ſkies.
Then ’mid the prieſts roſe up a reverend ſire,
Whoſe rolling eye-balls flaſh’d romantic fire,
The viſionary Robert, friend of ſong,
Rapt in wild dreams, fanatic, raſh, and ſtrong;3 Thoſe 099 H2r 99
Thoſe powers which might have form’d him wiſe and good,
Loſt in the bigot, made him thirſt for blood;
His brother he commands to ſpeak more plain,
And fully his myſterious words explain.
Then Theodore his crafty boſom bar’d:—
This heart, he cried, by innocence prepar’d,
Can firmly ſtand the teſt, or bravely bleed,
Should the baſe arts of hell o’er truth ſucceed;
Yet here I vow, by all my hopes of heav’n,
That by her ſpells to deſperation driv’n,
I fled before her, ſcorch’d by mad deſire,
Burnt by the flames of an internal fire;
Writh’d to the ſoul, I ſmart with ſecret pains,
For ſtill her magic arts infeſt my veins.
With trembling heart the bigot monarch hears,
Whoſe govern’d mind teem’d with religious fears;H2 In 100 H2v 100
In him the ſlave and tyrant were combin’d,
Impotent, cruel, and with prieſtcraft blind;
Through his own veins he felt unuſual heat,
And, as poſſeſs’d, his nerves and pulſes beat;
Fearful he ſat, and dar’d not give command.
When Robert roſe, to ſtretch a ſaving hand
O’er the vile prieſt, and bade him not to fear,
Truth’s ſacred rays, he cried, ſhall falſehood clear;
Then urg’d with zeal the ſorc’reſs ſhould be tried,
And the juſt ordeal on her crimes decide.
The prince aſſents; th’ ill-fated maid they ſought,
And quickly, with her aged father, brought;
His wrinkled viſage, waſh’d in briny tears,
Dawn’d not a ray to chaſe his daughter’s fears;
O’er her fair breaſt, by many ſorrows wrung,
Her long light hair in waving treſſes hung;
The pureſt innocence illum’d her face,
And every action ſpoke ſuperior grace.An 101 H3r 101
An univerſal horror fills each breaſt,
All ſue for her and criminate the prieſt;
Who claims the ſacred ordeal to decide,
And chides their zeal with prieſtly art and pride
That pity which you feel her ſpells inſpire,
Her eyes will pierce you with their magic fire.
Her voice was ſilenc’d when ſhe ſtrove to ſpeak;
The guiltleſs blood ran warmly through her cheek;
Devout, on high ſhe rais’d her lucid eyes,
Reſign’d, on conſcious innocence relies,
For well ſhe knew the Author of her breath
With lengthen’d life might curſe, or bleſs with death.
Vile Theodore each crafty engine plies,
To prove her guilty falſe expedients tries.
Virtue no juſtice on this earth commands;
Convicted by each trial now ſhe ſtands,
Paſt all diſpute—though grief aſſails each eye,
The prince condemns her as a witch to die.
Selmo, whoſe reſtleſs mind and wavering breaſt
No ſtrength from calm philoſophy poſſeſs’d,
Nor from religion reſignation drew,
Deſponding, wild, with fierce diſtraction flew:
The hoary ſire beheld her dragg’d along,
While direful horror froze his ſpeechleſs tongue;
With trembling hands he ſmote his hopeleſs breaſt;
His rolling eyes departing ſenſe expreſs’d;
Aghaſt he ſtood, his feeble brain turn’d round,
High ſwell’d his heart, his thoughts no utterance found;—
Then ſudden flew, like one poſſeſs’d and blind,
Or wither’d leaves of aſpin driv’n by wind;
Felt not his age, with tranſient fury ſtrong;
Loud cries broke forth, with which the mountains rung:
He climbs a clift, on his Ianthe calls,
And, ſtarting backward, from its ſummit falls.
Confin’d, to ſolitude a lonely prey,
In dreary cells the ſaint-like ſufferer lay,
By ardent prayer and deep reflection ſtrove
From her warm heart to ſhake the ties of love,
(Which to the earth her ſweet affections bind,)
And raiſe in hope tow’rds Heav’n her pious mind
Yet her young breaſt oft pants with inward fears,
While love and nature force impaſſion’d tears.
Involv’d in ſcience, Arno’s injur’d mind
All pleaſures and the pomp of courts reſign’d;
Strong diſappointments noble leſſons taught,
His heart he learn’d, and purify’d each thought:
To him when rumour thoſe dire tidings bears,
His rage relapſes while aghaſt he hears;
With paſſion fir’d, and wild reſentment wrought,
His armed force with eager haſte he ſought;
Through his ſwoll’n veins the blood in torrents flies,
While fury blazes from his threatening eyes;H4 Convulſive 104 H4v 104
Convulſive paſſion half ſuppreſs’d his breath,
Burning he ruſhes on to ſnatch the maid from death.
Summon’d, his vaſſals all unite around,
And the earth trembles with the warlike ſound;
His limbs he arm’d, and ſhook his well-tried ſpear,
Then flew impetuous, menacing from far.
Raphael, compell’d, in Arno’s armies fought,
And ’mongſt his troops promiſcuouſly was brought;
Ianthe’s fate was ſtill to him unknown,
Deep-ſtung, the paſt abſorbs his thoughts alone;
Such ſtrong dejection long had bound his mind,
He ſeem’d ſtruck off the chain of human kind;
Loſt in a dreary retroſpect of woes,
Of all unconſcious, to the field he goes.
Arno impatient ruſhes o’er the plain,
And fires with fierce revenge the hoſtile train.
This day was fair Ianthe doom’d to bleed;
The long proceſſions to the pile proceed;
Already on the baneful fagots rear’d,
With elevated ſoul the maid appear’d;
Amid her fears one beam of extaſy
Shot o’er her face, and lighten’d in her eye;
Fir’d by immortal hopes, each ardent thought
Aſpir’d to heaven, and her Redeemer ſought;
Her ſoul reſign’d, truſts that each earthly tie
Will there unite in bleſs’d eternity.
The prince with terror heard loud ſhouts from far,
And the dire ſounds of unexpected war;
Soon ſelfiſh fears his coward heart diſmay’d,
With voice confus’d, unknowing what he ſaid,
He bade the kindling flames to be allay’d.
Arno ruſh’d on to ſnatch her from her fate,
And whelm in ruins the tyrannic ſtate;When 106 H5v 106
When Theodore, with quickneſs all his own,
Apart to Robert cries, To thee alone
The prince can ſafety owe;—say, canſt thou ſtand
And ſee a ſacrilegious foe command?
Short is his date, auſtere the prieſt reply’d;
Soon ſhall the haughty rebel rue his pride.
A ponderous crucifix his right hand held,
The left a ſacred pompous relick fill’d;
Reverend his form, myſterious his attire,
His haggard eyes teem’d with religious fire;
As one inspir’d he ruſhes on the plain,
And ſpreads his robes before the royal train;
Then rearing high the croſs and holy band,
He hurl’d defiance with a fierce command.
Foes to your mother church, ah! whither driv’n,
Like fallen angels would ye war with Heav’n?“’Tis 107 H6r 107
’Tis Satan leads ye on, thus proudly great;
Death is your portion, hell your laſting fate,
Unleſs ye timely bow to Heaven’s commands,
And ſeize yon ruffian with your hoſtile hands,
Which impiouſly againſt your God you’ve rear’d,
Nor his high laws, nor burning vengeance fear’d.
Heavens! while I ſpeak convulſive pants my breath,
Leſt God in wrath denounce ſome aweful death!
Remember Korah’s fate! and trembling know
Judgments await each ſacrilegious foe.
He ſpoke;—amaz’d, they fling their arms away,
Some croſs their breaſts, whilſt ardently they pray;
Some ſeize their chief, but, brooking no controul,
He felt deſpair’s ſharp ſting inflict his ſoul.
Before unconquer’d, now ſhall prieſts ſubdue?
And ſhall Ianthe fall in Arno’s view?
Can he ’midſt flames behold the maid expire,
And want the power to quench the helliſh fire?Wildly 108 H6v 108
Wildly he rav’d; the prieſtly train advance
To lead him captive, and to ſeize his lance;
Sullen he turn’d, while rage and deadly ſmart
Swell’d his proud breaſt, and almoſt burſt his heart;
His powers, his ſpirit, can no aid afford,
Sudden he ruſhes on his deſperate ſword.
Hold his raſh hand! commanding Robert cries,
But vain, for as he ſpoke the hero dies.
A mingled murmur ran, ſome ſhout aloud,
The diſtant troops around their leader crowd;
Raphael indignant, ’mongſt the reſt drew nigh,
And o’er the field threw an enquiring eye;
Far in the rear, unconſcious he had been,
Till now too diſtant to ſurvey the ſcene;
But as he look’d around with dumb ſurprize,
Confus’d, a diſtant ſpectre ſeem’d to riſe,
Ianthe’s form, in direful garbs array’d,
Appear’d on piles of kindling fagots laid—
Wildly he flew towards the horrid ſhade.—
By prieſts withheld, he rages like the wind
Within the hollow of a rock confin’d;
But ſtrong as winds, with unremitting force
He breaks their hold, and wings his active courſe;
He ran, diſarm’d and wounded in the fray,
And to the pile forc’d his intrepid way;—
No ſpectre mocks, no empty ſhade deſcends,
In horrid certainty the viſion ends.
Bleeding and pale he gaz’d, with horror fill’d,
His soul was ſhook, and every nerve was thrill’d;
Ere he can ſpeak they tear him from the maid,
While round the pile the crackling flames invade.
She caught his eyes;—her reſignation ſhook:—
She ſtruck her breaſt, but the volum’nous ſmoke
Wild riſing to the winds obſcur’d her view,
And kindling flames to vivid fierceneſs blew;
Blood-thirſty bigotry exulting glows,
And Robert ſhouted as the flames aroſe.Wild 110 H7v 110
Wild rag’d the fires, the crackling pile gives way,
Th’ involving ſmoke obſcures the face of day,
And flames upon the crumbling ruins prey.
The prieſts triumphant hail the Heavenly King,
And e’en ’midſt murder, ſongs of worſhip ſing.
Raphael, whom virtue ſnatch’d from raſh deſpair,
Now ſeem’d the teſt of what the heart can bear:
As he beheld the barbarous flames aſcend,
And o’er the pile the circling ſmoke extend,
Awhile, by each ſublimer thought forſook,
All that was human in his boſom ſhook;
A frantic wiſh of death alone inſpires
To mingle ſouls, and ruſh amid the fires;
Deſp’rate he flew tow’rds where the fagots blaz’d,
But, ere he plung’d, from pious habit rais’d
His heart to God; that ſacred name impreſs’d
The ſenſe of duty on his rebel breaſt;
He felt a power divine his rage controul,
An inward voice reſtrain his daring ſoul;Awful 111 H8r 111
Awful againſt ſelf-murder conſcience roſe;
Trembling he ſtopp’d; his heart with horror froze:
Can the raſh ſuicide e’er hope to join
Ianthe’s ſpirit in the realms divine?
His heart he proſtrates, though convuls’d with woe,
And as a Chriſtian bore the deadly blow,
Mingles amid a dreary world again,
Suff’ring a life of labour and of pain;
From ſorrow more ſublime, more firm from thought,
Thoſe truths he ſtudy’d which the Saviour taught;
And from reflection and the Goſpel drew
Strength, which on faith and hope’s firm baſis grew,
And virtues pure, unmix’d with bigotry,
Which breath’d forbearance, juſtice, charity!
Illum’d within, e’en in that bloody hour
When prieſtcraft reign’d with arbitrary power,
He ſaw their ſway diſſolve all human ties,
And darkneſs veil the laws, and Truth’s fair eyes,Yet 112 H8v 112
Yet could impart no ray of ſacred light:
So thick the miſts which clouded human ſight.
Thus dark, in error wrapt, long groan’d mankind,
Pleas’d with vain ſhews, and to oppreſſion blind;
Till Freedom, dawning o’er the injur’d earth,
Clear’d ſome rank weeds, and gave true knowledge birth.
O! may we ever ſanctify her fane!
And ne’er her hallow’d paths with ſlaughter ſtain;
Love of mankind, not novelty, be ours;
For general good may man exert his powers!
Repeat, O, Muſe! the virtuous ſong
Of him, whoſe boſom knew no art;
Whoſe native meaſures, wild and ſtrong,
Pour’d the free dictates of his heart.
Toſs’d ’midſt life’s terrific ſtorms,
My ſoul on Nature’s centre clings,
Striving to taſte each ſcatter’d bliſs,
And loudly grateful anthems ſings.
When flying o’er the billowy deep,
Upborne the ſounding waves among,
While winds the boiling ocean ſweep,
And lightenings dart their fires along;
Abſorb’d, unmov’d, reſolv’d of mind,
I dare the elements aſſault,I “’Midſt 114 I1v 114
’Midſt roaring oceans plough’d by wind,
While thunders burſt thro’ heaven’s high vault.
On Virtue’s baſe, and buoy’d by Hope,
I ſee peace beam through every cloud;
Benumb’d upon the ſhatter’d rope
Still grateful is my ſong, and loud.
Grateful, for being rais’d from nought
To ſcenes where Nature’s bleſſings ſhine,
Endued with fancy, love, and thought,
And dawnings of a ſoul divine!
The Blind Man.
Say, reverend man, why ’midſt this ſtormy night
Wander’ſt thou darkling, and expos’d, alone?
Alas! I would aſſiſt thee, though unknown.
Raſh youth! that God which robb’d my eyes of ſight
Darts through my mind a ray of ſacred light:
The winds I heed not, nor the laſhing ſhower,
My ſinewy frame is firm, my ſoaring mind has power.
This oaken-ſtaff feels out the dangerous way:
’Twas Heaven’s fierce fire which ſwept my eyes away,
And left an orbleſs trunk, that knows nor night nor day.I2 “Yet 116 I2v 116
Yet ſtrong ideas rooted in my brain
Form there an univerſe, which doth contain
Thoſe images which Nature’s hand diſplays,
The heavenly arch, the morning’s glowing rays;
Mountains and plains, the ſea by tempeſts hurl’d,
And all the grandeur of this glorious world!
But, ah! how wild drives on the rapid ſtorm,
Daſhing the rain againſt thy reverend form!
Yon ſwelling river, foaming tow’rds the main,
Smokes ’midſt th’ advancing waves and falling rain:
O, father! my young ſoul is ſhook within;
O! let me lead you from this horrid ſcene.
I yield;—but let not fear thy mind deform,
Hark! ’tis God’s voice which urges on the ſtorm;
He to this world of elements gave form.“From 117 I3r 117
From them he moulded all, yet gave not peace,
But broke the harmony, and bade them rage;
He meant not happineſs ſhould join with eaſe,
But varied joys and pains ſhould all the world engage.
Thelmon and Carmel; An Irregular Poem.
Part the First.
In Thelmon’s breaſt contending paſſions riſe,
While, with reſentment ſtung, he proudly flies;
The harmoniſt divine, to madneſs fir’d,
Raſhly to Carmel’s youthful charms aſpir’d;
But ſhe, with Virtue’s awful power poſſeſs’d,
Taught him to bluſh, and drove him from her breaſt.
Firſt anger in his heated boſom roſe,
With pride he burns, for ſpeedy vengeance glows:
His inſtrument, of heaven-inſpired ſound,
Touch’d by dire diſcord wounds the air around;
Then vengeance dies, and fierce diſdain ſucceeds;
He flies, while Carmel’s heart with ſorrow bleeds;
His agonies are chang’d to bitter ſcorn,
Nor can the lofty ſpirit ſtoop to mourn;8 Diſowning 119 I4r 119
Diſowning every tie that link’d the heart,
He loſt in vice the racking ſenſe of ſmart;
He gave a ſcope to all his mad deſires.
(Perverted genius deepeſt crimes inſpires)
The wanton chords he ſtruck with looſe delight,
And wit’s ſtrong flaſhes ſhed luxuriant light;
Till, ſatiate with the empty joys of ſenſe,
And oft diſguſted with their impotence,
Wearied of follies reap’d without controul,
With ſelf-reproach he ſmarted to the ſoul;
With ſhame and ſcorn from noiſy pleaſures flew,
And to the calms of ſolitude withdrew;
Nature exploring, and with muſic fir’d,
Loſt in reſearch he wander’d as inſpir’d.
Part the Second.
Remov’d from man, and ſummer’s tuneful groves,
Alone harmonious Thelmon ſtrays to muſe;
O’er rugged hills, through long rough paths he roves,
To where, impell’d by winds, the ocean roars,
Heaves its vaſt ſurges on the echoing ſhores,
Foams ’mid the rocks, and daſhes the thick ooze.
Now on the ſounding beech, ſublime in thought,
He view’d the wonders of the horrid deep,
Which from the heavens the ponderous torrents caught,
While briny mountains brave the darken’d ſky,
Where lowering clouds replete with waters fly,
And ſtormy winds the heavens and ocean ſweep.
Nor jarring elements untun’d his ſoul,
Each natural cauſe ſtill tracing to its ſource,While 121 I5r 121
While driven on winds the waves tremendous roll;
Curious to meditate on Nature’s law,
The vaſt Creator in his works he ſaw,
And contemplation guides his wandering courſe.
Humbled by youthful crimes and curb’d deſires,
Abſtracted through life’s mazy paths he trod,
The love of ſcience damp’d his former fires;
And with a heart form’d to converſe with man,
A genius rais’d on Nature’s nobleſt plan,
He inward drew his powers, and ſought his God.
Pond’ring on man’s vain paſſions as he ſtood,
He heard the tranſports of the empty wind,
The vain contentions of the mighty flood,
Till the tir’d ſtorm ſcowl’d croſs the heaving main;
The ſpray no more flies o’er the diſtant plain,
And the faint ſun through the filmy vapours ſhin’d.
Calm ’midſt advancing ſhades diſſolv’d the day,
The ſilenc’d winds ſcarce ſhook the ſhowery leaves,
And through the heavens the watery vapours ſtray;
Then o’er the ſea (tumultuous now no more)
Which beat the rocks, and gently daſh’d the ſhore,
A ſolemn melody his ſpirit breathes.
Thelmon, whom paſſions now no more controul,
To ſcience and to muſic gave his ſoul;
Fair Carmel’s charms alone his love had fir’d,
Unmark’d the mind which every grace inſpir’d,
With violence it flam’d, but ſoon expir’d.
Of which unmindful, ſtill he rov’d the plains,
And to the ſetting ſun pour’d forth ſublime his ſtrains.
Part the Third.
The grove is huſh’d, the ſaffron-tinged clouds
Shoot down their ſoftening colours to the weſt;
Advancing night the ſable mountains ſhrouds,
And with her dewy feet are meads and flowrets preſs’d.
Slowly the ſolemn moon its full orb rears,
And through the ſkies its lucid influence throws,
Each glittering ſtar ’mid fleecy clouds appears,
And through th’ immeaſurable path of heaven
The high galaxy glows.
The moon-beams glide ſerene acroſs the lake,
Whoſe glaſſy boſom gloomy branches ſhade;
The dying gale the murmuring ſedges ſhake,While 124 I6v 124
While ſounds melodious, pouring through the grove,
The ſolemn ſtillneſs of the night invade.
Cool as the eve, mild as the lucid ſpheres,
Fair Carmel wanders ’mid the nightly dew;
But wondering ſtood, as through her well-tun’d ears
She liſtening ſoft harmonious numbers drew.
On the chaſte moon ſhe fix’d her cryſtal eyes,
Her ear attentive caught the trembling ſounds;
Reſponſive her lone boſom utter’d ſighs,
While the muſician pours his lofty ſtrains,
They fill the woods, they echo o’er the plains,
The diſtant air with heavenly notes reſounds.
Song of Thelmon.
In the cool boſom of the ſolemn night
With ſongs ſublime I hail the Power Divine,
As from yon orb the quivering beams of light“Surround 125 I7r 125
Surround the ſhades, and through the ether bright
Soften the ſcene, and o’er the trembling waters ſhine.
’Mid ſplendent day oft jarring paſſions war,
But calm at eve I tread the ſilent grove,
And feel delight from every brook and ſtar:
Each ſolemn ſcene I view with ſacred awe,
While from a mental glance of Nature’s law
I learn the wonders of almighty love.
Rude were the ſtorms which deep through my ſad breaſt
Have ſtriv’n the germs of virtue to expel;
Rebellious paſſions robb’d my ſoul of reſt:
But in deſpondency’s moſt baleful hour
I felt within a renovating Power
Strengthen my ſoul, and all at laſt is well.
My mind, no more in boiſterous tranſports drown’d,
Reflective feels a boſom form’d for love,
Senſes which touch the ſtrings of thought profound,
And taſte each bliſs in Nature’s calm retreats;
While o’er this wilderneſs of thorny ſweets
Wandering, with harmony of ſoul I move.
He ceas’d, and ’midſt the thickets ſtray’d along.
The liſtening virgin’s boſom ſwell’d with woe,
’Mid ſilent tears ſhe heard the ſolemn ſong—
Well did her ſoul his heavenly accents know.
Re-kindled paſſions warm her heaving breaſt,
While memory teems with proofs of former love;
Deep in her heart each accent is impreſs’d,
Scarce can ſhe quit the lake, or ſhadowy waving
Her fancy hears amidſt the murmuring gale
Still the faint echoes of his muſic roll,
Homeward ſhe bends at laſt, fatigu’d and pale,
And vainly ſtrives to calm her trembling ſoul.
Part the Fourth.
The moon is ſunk, and heaven’s reſplendent ſtars
Glimmer ’mid nightly ſhades and morning grey,
O’er the low plains a whitiſh miſt appears;
While ſilvering every eaſtern cloud, the dawn,
Infuſing ſlow the promise of the morn,
Faint-ting’d the couch where Carmel thoughtful lay.
From her clear eyes large pearly drops deſcend,
Unuſual fires thrill through her trembling veins:
As when the potent ſolar rays extend
O’er tracts where long congealing ice and ſnows
Like mountains riſe, near polar circles froze,
And melting by its heat wild deluge the vaſt plains.
Remembrance pour’d its influence through her ſoul;
Her aching boſom heav’d with bitter ſighs,
Her agitated thoughts diſtracted roll;
And to her fev’riſh fancy Thelmon roſe—
Now lofty verſe in ſtrains harmonious flows,
Now paſſion ſpeaks in his all-potent eyes.
Like an imperfect dream the paſt appears,
His errors fleet like a diſſolving cloud;
His virtues ſhine like uneclipſed ſtars:
No more the ſenſe of wrongs ſecures her heart,
Her boſom burns with unavailing ſmart,
And all within the hopeleſs flame avow’d,
Reſtleſs ſhe lay, till o’er the mantling ſkies
The dazzling radiance of the morning roſe;
From the broad light ſhe turn’d her weeping eyes,
And, ſpent with paſſion and the weight of thought,
The tranſient comfort of ſoft ſleep ſhe ſought,
And liſtleſs ſunk at length to half repoſe
Thus a ſad prey to miſery, Carmel found
No kind reſource to mitigate the wound;
Void of purſuits, her heart ſeeks no relief,
No active duty rouſes her from grief:
Though calm ſhe ſeem’d, within the poiſon wrought;
And her affections quite abſorb’d each thought;
The light of day her ſorrowing mind oppreſs’d;
Night was alone congenial to her breaſt;
Each eve ſhe ſtrays to ſoothe her joyleſs ſoul,
And pleas’d beholds the lengthening ſhadows roll.
Part the Fifth.
In the mild weſt diſſolv’d the blaze of day;
The roſy heavens rich varying tints o’erſpread;
Bright ſhone the hills beneath the evening ray;
Amid the corn wild crimſon poppies blow,
All nature wore a univerſal glow,
And joy was echo’d o’er th’ illumin’d mead.
Untouch’d by every accent of delight,
Amid the ſmiling harveſt Carmel ſtray’d;
Then climb’d a craggy hill of towering height,
Where hanging woods luxuriant foliage ſpread,
And wild blown flowers their ſpicy odours ſhed;
Thence ſhe the grand extenſive ſcene ſurvey’d.
Night did not yet poſſeſs its dark domain,
But gradual ſhades o’erſpread the burning ſky;The 131 K2r 131
The ſolemn lake, the flower-enamell’d plain,
Catch the laſt rays of the deſcending orb,
Whoſe fiery blaze the diſtant ſeas abſorb,
While through the weſtern clouds the crimſon glories fly.
Nature in glowing plenty ſmil’d below,
Above the clouds inceſsant varying roll;
Touch’d by the view, the glorious work ſhe prais’d,
And to the Univerſal Parent rais’d,
Fervent in prayer, her energetic ſoul.
The fading landſcape leſſens on her ſight,
Amid the ether ſtars celeſtial ſhine;
Some ſcatter’d clouds ſtill catch the ebbing light,
And by the glimmering rays diſtinct ſhe view’d
Thelmon, who loſt in contemplation ſtood,
As if in converſe with the heavenly Nine.
She ſtrove to ſpeak, but all her powers were bound:
O’er her fair breaſt faſt flow’d a ſilent flood,
While he with muſing pace was wandering round
The rugged path, and paſs’d regardleſs by;
He ſaw her not, but drew unconſcious nigh,
Then mingled in the umbrage of the wood.
In vain again to calm her breaſt ſhe tries,
Her livid eyes ſurvey’d the ruthleſs heaven;
The briny ſhowers ſhe ſhed, the deep-felt ſighs,
Which mix’d with prayers her wretched boſom heav’d,
Alike amid a friendleſs void were breath’d,
Or by the winds to neighbouring mountains driven.
Now when the clouds roll’d heavy o’er the ſtars,
And chilling midnight ſpread a dreary gloom,She 133 K3r 133
She dried the painful ſluices of her tears;
Devoid of hope ſhe wiſh’d not for its light,
And, thoughtleſs of the dangers of the night,
Reſtleſs return’d in ſilence to her home.
Part the Sixth.
The ſhades of night and glimmering dawn are fled,
The riſing ſun the parting clouds has fir’d;
The purple hills illumin’d flame with red,
While Thelmon, fraught with praiſe, forſakes his bed,
With love of Nature and her truths inſpir’d.
The waving corn, moiſt with the pearly dew,
Glitters beneath the ſun’s refulgent rays;
Luxuriant o’er each hedge wild roſes grew,
And ripening fruits prolific greet his view—
All Nature ſmil’d a thouſand various ways.
Silent this morn was his melodious tongue,
And liſtening to the ſongſters of the grove,
He envied their ſweet lays, as blythe they ſung;
For with a tranſient pang his heart was wrung,
Reflecting on their pure and artleſs loves.
Bitter remembrance deep pervades his ſoul,
The gliſtening lake, the high-grown trees he knew;
O’er the ſweet plains his eyes rekindling roll,
Here Carmel’s virtues did his fires controul,
Deeply he bluſh’d, and quick his eyes withdrew.
Touch’d by her wrongs, his ſoul its guilt confeſs’d;
His breaſt, which heav’d with deep remorſe and ſmart,
Mourning paſt crimes, an anxious wiſh poſſeſs’d,
A wiſh which no obtruding pride ſuppreſs’d,
To own the errors of his alter’d heart.
Part the Seventh.
Carmel he ſeeks: the wandering maid he found,
And with each look inflicts a deeper wound;
She ſtrove to veil her bluſhes from his ſight,
And hide her terrors by a ſudden flight;
Yet could not fly, nor ſcarce reſolve to ſtay,
Her burning heart contending paſſions ſway.
Approaching her, with awe ſerene he ſpoke,
While from his eyes the light of virtue broke;
With humble dignity his crimes confeſs’d,
No rage againſt himſelf his words expreſs’d:
Too well he knew, when ſwell’d by paſſion’s tide,
How hard the taſk the throbbing heart to guide;
And penitence he felt, devoid of pride.
He view’d her with ſurprize, for while he ſpeaks,
Delight—not anger, fluſh’d her modeſt cheeks;K4 Th’ 136 K4v 136
Th’ emotions of her ſoul her eyes pourtray,
Where tranſient fires in vivid flaſhes play:
Rekindling tranſports as he gaz’d ariſe,
Which ting’d his lips, and fir’d his rapt’rous eyes;
New ſympathies within his boſom ſprung,
Which warm in hope impel his glowing tongue:
Pure and refin’d his paſſions now appear,
His virtues ſtrengthen’d, and his heart ſincere;
Pervade her ſoul, and fill her breaſt with fire:
Dubious no more, ſhe ſeeks not to retreat,
Too ſtrongly love did in her boſom beat;
Faſt from her eyes the tears of tranſport flow,
Joy takes the language of her former woe;
Amid the ſhower a ſmile ſeraphic broke—
She gave her hand, and thus impaſſioned ſpoke:
I ſeek not to reſtrain my throbbing heart,
Nor veil its candour with the ſhow of art;“Forgiveneſs 137 K5r 137
Forgiveneſs beams upon thee from mine eyes,
While all thy virtues to my memory riſe.
Within I feel ſuch powerful ſympathy,
Such ſtrong attraction of my ſoul to thee,
That no falſe pride in this important hour
Swerves my pure heart with its tyrannic power.
With agony I ſaw exceſs controul
A mind whoſe grandeur ever aw’d my ſoul;
Thy wonderous ſongs, replete with genuine fire,
The love of nature which thoſe ſongs inſpire,
Were in my heart impreſs’d with power divine;
In vain I ſtrove thine image to reſign,
And mourn’d the fall of ſuch a ſoul as thine:
But now thy penitence o’erjoy’d I view,
And yield my heart, as to thy virtue due.
He heard, while joy redoubled in his breaſt,
And ſtrong emotions every look expreſs’d;
Sublime his ſoul its ardent love pourtray’d,
But moſt his future life his gratitude diſplay’d.
Come, let us dance and ſing,
While our ſpirits lightly wing;
Youth’s gay fantaſtic ſpring
Wreathes the myſtic bow’rs!
Bend here thy quivering feet,
Fancy thy ſmiles ſhall greet,
Dimples ’mid roſes ſweet,
And fruits with glowing flowers!
Join my ſong,
Meet me in the varied throng;
Crown’d with May,
Hailing like a lark the day!Thus 139 K6r 139
Thus the ſweet ſpring we taſte,
Ere our genial warmth ſhall waſte,
With Nature’s bleſſings grac’d,
We ſport the hours away.
Life’s an uncertain joy,
Let’s the roſy hours employ;
Ere they our powers deſtroy
They ſhall ſcatter charms:
Grey dawn ſhall ſee them riſe,
Silvering the opening ſkies,
Sparkling with dewy eyes,
And bluſhing ſpread their arms.
They burſt with day,
Blazing with a gaudy ray;
’Midſt the bowers
Opening, hail the noontide hours.8 Then 140 K6v 140
Then gliding down the hills,
Silent eve its dew diſtils,
With rapture each boſom thrills:
Night’s ſongſtreſs muſic pours.
Deep then their bluſh appears,
’Mid their ſaffron-tinged hairs,
Wav’d o’er the riſing ſtars,
Diſſolving into night.
Borne next on Cynthia’s horns,
Glittering ’mid the lakes and lawns,
Elves, ſprights, and ſylvan fawns,
Dance in vapours dight:
Magic fire through ether ſtreams;
Round the ſky
The hours fly,
Launching to eternity!Thus 141 K7r 141
Thus ever on the wing,
Come, let us dance and ſing,
Trampling on ſorrow’s ſting,
Laughing at each ſigh.
The eve deſcends with radiant ſtreaks,
Sweetly ſerene and grandly gay,
While weſtern tinges fluſh the cheeks,
And inſects ’mid the zephyrs play.
Young Cymon, with a rapt’rous heart,
Whom woodland ſcenes and pleaſure drew,
Rov’d while his ſweet poetic art
From Nature ſtole its nobleſt hue.
On wild-thyme banks the poet ſung,
Harmonious thither call’d his fair,
Where blooming roſes cluſtering hung,
And every ſweet perfum’d the air.
Attentive to the well-known ſong
Whoſe warbled ſounds pervade the grove,Bluſhing 143 K8r 143
Bluſhing ſhe heard, and ſped along,
Her thrilling boſom fir’d with love.
As on the odorous bank he pours
A lover’s ſong, a lover’s ſighs,
He ſaw her glowing, deck’d with flowers,
Affection beaming from her eyes.
As ſummer ſuns unfold the roſe,
Or heightening ſweets embalm the grove,
So as he gaz’d ſhe deeper glows,
And every look was fraught with love.
While o’er her face the zephyrs play,
A thouſand charms delight each ſenſe,
Join’d to the bluſhing bloom of May
The ſweeter hue of innocence.
Her lovely hands a garland bound,
Then on his head ſhe plac’d the wreath,His 144 K8v 144
His locks with flowering myrtles crown’d,
Laurels and roſes wav’d beneath.
The vivid fires thrill’d through his breaſt
As energetic ſtrains he ſung;
Her artleſs eyes ſtill more expreſs’d
Than the wild fervour of his tongue.
To a Lady, on the Rise of Morn.
Rise, bloſſom of the ſpring,
The dews of morn
Still linger on the barren thorn;
Ariſe, and ſing!
O! join my rapt’rous ſong!
And o’er the wild bleak hills
And unfledg’d fields along
Purſue the trickling rills:
Cloath’d with that modeſt grace
That veils the glowing beauties of thy face,
And downward points the radiance of thine
I wait thee on the thawing mountains,
Where ſpring diſſolves the lingering fountains;L O! trace 146 L1v 146
O! trace with me the opening flowers;
Brave the ſharp breeze, damp dews, and vernal ſhowers.
Wild various Nature ſtrews her charms,
And ſtorms ſurround her mildeſt calms;
O! to her frowns let us ſuperior be,
Taſte each delight, and hail the coming ſpring,
Singing the heavenly ſong of liberty!
I chas’d a wild capricious fair,
Where hyacinths and jonquils bloom’d,
Chanting gay ſonnets through the air:
Hid amid a briary dell
Or ’neath a hawthorn tree,
Her ſweet enchantments led me on,
And ſtill deluded me.
While ſummer’s ſplendent glory ſmiles
My ardent love in vain eſſay’d,
I ſtrove to win her heart by wiles,
But ſtill a thouſand pranks ſhe play’d;
Still o’er each ſun-burnt furzy hill,
Wild, playful, gay, and free,
She laugh’d and ſcorn’d, I chas’d her ſtill,
And ſtill ſhe banter’d me.
When autumn waves her golden ears,
And wafts o’er fruits her pregnant breath,
The ſprightly lark its pinions rears,
I chas’d her o’er the daiſy’d heath;
Sweet hare-bells trembled in the vale,
And all around was glee;
Still, wanton as the timid hart,
She ſwiftly flew from me.
Now winter lights its chearful fire,
While jeſts with frolic mirth reſound,
And draws the wand’ring beauty nigher,
’Tis now too cold to rove around:
The Chriſtmas game, the playful dance,
Incline her heart to glee,
Mutual we glow, and kindling love
Draws every wiſh to me.
Both gloomy and dark was the ſhadowy night,
The leaden-ſurg’d ocean heav’d ſlowly each wave,
Silence ſolemn as death ſucceeded the light,
And each ravenous prowler ſtole forth from its cave.
Now to a ſea-beach, where a black baleful yew
O’er venomous weeds its dark ſhadows impreſs’d,
Diſorder’d by grief the wild Tamara flew,
As the wind was her brain, as the ocean her breaſt.
Then frequent and loud were her cries o’er the main,
With paſſion ſhe heav’d, with diſtraction was torn;
The dead ſhore long-murm’ring re-echo’d in vain,
Nor will peace e’er again to her boſom return.
She mourns for the dead, the cold ſenſeleſs dead,
Her love, who beneath the ſalt billows doth lie,
And the deep grave ſhe ſeeks, where reſts his fair head,
Looſe-flying her treſſes, diſtracted her eye.
The night as it darkens encreaſes her pain,
Her mind teems with horrors, which deepen the gloom;
She hears his lov’d voice, ſhrill it calls her again,
And his cold breaſt ſhe ſeeks in the billowy tomb.
Diſtracted and loſt, her poor ſhatter’d heart
With paſſions was urg’d, which no force could controul,
Deep-plunging, in death ſhe ſubdues her fierce ſmart,
And from its torn manſion thus freed her young ſoul.
Wander, my troubled ſoul, ſigh ’mid the night thy pain,
While from my cloud-hung brow ſtream ſhowers of briny rain;
My ſpirit flies the earth, the darkeſt gloom pervades,
Hovers around the dead, and mingles with the ſhades.
O! friend of my breaſt! thou’rt entomb’d within my heart,
I ſtill to thee alone my inmoſt thoughts impart;
Solac’d no more by thee, vain is the power of ſong,
Sighs check each tuneful lay, and murmuring glide along.
Thou wert unto my ſoul what the ſun is to my ſight,
But thou art ſet in death, and I am loſt in night;L4 All 152 L4v 152
All nature ſeems a void of element’ry ſtrife,
Where the ſoul is all cloud, and fraught with pain all life.
When near thy faithful breaſt I heeded not the ſtorm,
Nor thought of waſting time, nor death’s conſuming worm;
Thy genius woke my thought, as oft we ſtray’d alone,
And rais’d me to that heaven to which thou now art flown.
Silent oft I mourn, ſad wandering ’mid the gloom,
Or on the ſea-beat ſhore I weep my bitter doom;
To thee, among the bleſs’d, my feeble ſoul would ſoar,
And ’mid the ſtarry ſpheres th’ Almighty Pow’r adore.
Written When the Mind Was Oppressed.
Wandering amid the horrors of the night,
Muſing, my ſighs mix with the whiſtling wind,
Dim watery ſhadows ſhroud my feeble ſight,
And deep reflection fills my labouring mind.
Alone, amid the deadly midnight glooms,
I hear the winds ruſh wildly through the waſte,
My ſtrengthen’d soul its various powers aſſumes,
While painful feelings agitate my breaſt.
Unhappy, vain, deluſive, frail, and ſhort,
Envelop’d ’mid diſeaſe, death, ſin, and ſtrife,
As if weak man was his Creator’s ſport?
Beneath the thunder on the deſert ſtrand,
I liſten to the ſolemn ocean’s roar,
Aw’d by the powerful elements I ſtand,
And ’mid their fierce convulſions Heaven adore.
But the more fatal ſtorms which rage within
With ſtronger fears my youthful mind diſmay;
Follies and paſſions, which engender ſin,
Aſſail the ſoul, and on the reaſon prey.
To Nature’s ſweet enchantments wak’d from nought,
Chaos impenetrably dark behind,
Early poſſeſs’d of conſciouſneſs and thought,
Impell’d by paſſions of a new-born mind.
Borne on by hope, our youthful tranſports fly;
Abſolute pain alone we deem an ill,
Unknowing that thoſe dreary voids are nigh
Which reſtleſs apathy alone may fill.
We dream not, that, as blooms each flower or tree,
We bloſſom, ſhoot, improve, but to decay,
Some new-felt pleaſure ſprings from all we ſee,
Till rapid time doth Nature’s truths diſplay.
Yet ’midſt this beauteous world our ſweeten’d ſtate
Would ſmile, when ſooth’d by friendſhip’s kindly breath;
But a drear darkneſs terminates our fate,
And every human boſom ſtarts from death.
The pious ſire of Arla rear’d her youth
Strongly to feel the great Creator’s power;
In her pure boſom ſow’d the ſeeds of truth,
And open’d Nature’s inexhauſtleſs ſtore:
Early he led her mind
To pure religion’s unadulter’d ſtream;
The young muſician caught th’ extatic theme,
And ſung God’s glories to the ſounding wind.
Call’d by his king to war,
He left her young,
To thoſe impreſſions which his tender care
Had on her pliant heart imprinted ſtrong.
Her lively ſenſes muſic’s influence found;
Her fingers ſtruck the ſacred organ’s keys;
With pious hopes and heavenly extaſies
Her ſoul flew upward, wing’d by lofty ſound.
So ſweet ſhe ſung
That infidels would hear;
The hallow’d notes which fir’d her ſacred tongue
Infus’d her faith, and taught them to revere.
Her ſoul was meek, her energy was ſtrong,
And force divine fir’d each ſeraphic ſong.
Her ſimple frame no ornaments adorn’d,
No earthly radiance bluſh’d,
But every look her mental force inform’d;
The infant ſoul with beams immortal dawn’d,
And breaking forth her eyes and boſom fluſh’d.
Her temperament was ſo replete with fires
She ſcarcely ſeem’d to feel the earthly part;Her 158 L7v 158
Her genius with excentric force aſpires,
Its boundleſs flights with ſtrong conceptions dart:
But dazzled by its light, and led aſtray,
Her inexperienc’d reaſon fell a prey;
Th’ entrancing Muſe ſeduc’d her early youth,
More fraught with energy than fed with truth.
Her ſoul, enrich’d by Nature’s nobleſt ſtores,
Gave to wild fancy mad and ſovereign ſway;
Imagination drew her finer powers,
Until the balance of her ſoul gave way;
And, its pure tenor thus deſtroy’d and broke,
The dormant paſſions of her nature woke:
For minds with innate force and quickneſs fir’d
To their own operations left in youth,
Too oft, by foſter’d prejudice inſpir’d,
Are warp’d from the more ſimple paths of truth.
Strong inclination points the unknown way,
And licens’d paſſions blindly lead aſtray.
Her ſtrengthening Muſe ſtill more enchanting glows;
Deluded the frail mortal ſtrains her powers,
While giant weeds in her rich ſoil aroſe,
Vainly the ſelf-ſuppoſed ſaint adores.
Till loſt in feveriſh dreams,
’Mid fancy’s fires ſhe heavenly viſions ſaw,
As rapt ſhe ſang her wild melodious themes,
Nature ſhe thought relax’d its rigid law;
Angels ſhe ſaw descending from on high,
Unfolding all the wonders of the ſky,
And caught a glimpſe of the Divinity.
One noon amid the ſea-girt rocks ſhe ſtray’d,
Th’ expanſive ocean and the heavens ſurvey’d;
Her ſoul was aw’d, while loſt in zeal ſhe ſtood,
And the majeſtic wilds of nature view’d.
The air condens’d, to ſullen miſts transforms,
The ſky frown’d awful, big with threatening ſtorms,3 And 160 L8v 160
And gathering clouds unite;
The blackening ocean foams upon the ſhore,
While diſtant thunders ’mid the mountains roar,
And pelting drops faſt o’er the rocks alight.
The angry clouds in troops convolving part,
The dun horizon gleams with horrid dye;
From ſulph’rous vapours burſting lightenings dart,
And louder thunders echo through the ſky.
Shelter amid the rocky caves ſhe ſought,
From the large ſhower and vivid flaſh retires,
While ſolemn peals woke every awful thought,
And the fierce lightenings fill’d the cave with fires.
Still rolling on terrific o’er her head,
The rain in haſty torrents burſt the clouds,
Which ſpent like ſmoke croſs the blue ether fled,
Whose brightneſs following vapours dimly ſhroud;
Trembling her face amid the rocks ſhe hides,
Till the fierce horror of the ſtorm ſubſides.
Fluſh’d by her fears, with awe ſhe rear’d her head,
By all the grandeur of the ſcene inſpir’d;
As diſtantly the ſolemn clouds retir’d,
She quits the cave, and hail’d them as they fled,
With wild imagination ſtrongly fir’d:
While lambent ſtill the lightnings flaſh’d around;
And the hoarſe thunders roll’d a ſullen ſound;
Her lifted eyes the clouded heavens tranſpierce,
Divineſt ſtrains ſhe ſang of heavenly verſe.
Thus, with enthuſiaſtic raptures blind,
A heavenly viſion fir’d her feveriſh mind;
God’s voice ſhe thought amid the tempeſt roll’d,
And fancied ſtreams of glory fill’d the ſkies!
The fires of heaven the awful clouds unfold,
Ethereal eſſence fluſh’d her mortal eyes!
More wild ſhe dreams a cherub downward flew,
And dimm’d the ſun as tow’rds the earth he drew.M Her 162 M1v 162
Her ſpirit ſaw him cut the ambient ſkies,
While ocean burns with radiance as he flies;
Such hues empyreal his bright frame adorn,
He ſeems a ray of the eternal morn!
So fraught with living fires, his ardent eyes
Shot forth long beams, which ſparkled thro’ the ſkies;
From him bright emanations darted round,
And his wav’d pinions gave celeſtial ſound!
Entranc’d, nor doubting what her fancy ſaw,
Her youthful boſom heav’d with ſacred awe;
She view’d him on the ſtrong rock’s pointed height,
Thence breathing ſtrains enchanting mortal ears,
Such as he tun’d amid th’ eternal ſpheres,
Genius immortal wing’d its ardent flight!
The ſea reſponſive mighty ſurges roll’d,
Bearing each other on, a voice they found,
Heaving, inſpir’d, they labour’d with the ſound,
And awfully their wondrous nature told.The 163 M2r 163
The winds which roll the clouds along the ſky
In every blaſt ſang forth the Maker’s praiſe;
The ſpirit ſeem’d deſcended from on high
To catch the ſong, and to th’ Almighty raiſe.
Then, like a meteor, fierce he ſhot along;
(Refulgence brake, for mortal eyes too ſtrong)
Amidſt the clouds emerg’d his radiant head,
Wafting the tributes which all nature pays;
Day ſeem’d as twilight while the ſpirit fled,
The amber clouds receiv’d his parting rays.
Then round the ſhore th’ Enthuſiaſt throws her eyes;
(Still foam’d the main, and troubled were the ſkies)
Dazzled, thro’ clouds the watery ſun-beams views,
While parting vapours wild and various ſtray;
Faintly her lucid bow fair Iris ſhews;
Arla conceiv’d it a remaining ray,
And wildly ſtretch’d her arms t’implore its ſtay.
Not unobſerv’d her ecſtacies had flown,
Nor the vibrations of her heavenly tongue;
For Edran ’mid the rocks ſurvey’d her charms,
And the ſeraphic phrenzy of her eyes,
Her hair long-ſtreaming o’er her trembling arms,
As from her lips the note of rapture flies.
He ſaw her with fanatic ardour blind,
And ſmil’d, while paſſion in his boſom wrought,
And miſchief mingling in the villain’s thought
With triumphs o’er religion puff’d his mind.
He in the world’s baſe ſchool had ſtudied long,
Vain of his parts, devotion to decry,
And learnt bewitching eloquence of tongue
To palliate vice with ſhifting ſophiſtry:
His ample front deep penetrations ſhows,
Beneath his powerful brows
Strong flaſh’d his eyes,
And with invention ſtrength of action vies.
Potent in ill; he bent his ſubtile powers
To draw young Arla in his wily ſnare,
Join’d in her raptures, while ſublime ſhe pours
Entrancing ſtrains of muſic on his ear.
Her pious fancies he enrich’d with thought,
She liſten’d to the wiſdom of his tongue,
And from his eyes freſh inſpiration caught,
Whilſt he enamour’d on her accents hung.
Her paſſions were already ſet on fire,
Without a guard her heart defenceleſs lay;
Soon to his arts her virtues fell a prey;
Her ſweet affections glide to his deſire.
Ruin’d, he left her plung’d in deep deſpair;
The lov’d deluſions of her ſoul were broke,
’Mid anarchy and horror ſhe awoke,
Tumultuous paſſions her ſad boſom tear:
Love warmly lingering in her mem’ry ſat,
Urging her wounded ſoul to deſperate hate;M3 The 166 M3v 166
The rapt’rous dreams her heart had cheriſh’d long
Flew, like the empty echoes of a ſong.
Devoid of baſis, all ſupport decays,
Her frantic mind can no where find relief;
The bubbles burſt which ſhone with glittering rays,
And nought remain’d ſave paſſion, guilt, and grief.
Rob’d in religion, Edran won her heart;
Her faith is broke while ſhe reſents the wrong,
Wild-panting with love’s agonizing ſmart
She burns, convuls’d with feelings deep and ſtrong;
And oft diſeas’d
With mingled paſſions, fiery ecſtaſies
Her trembling lips pour’d potently in ſong.
Songs of Arla.
Wild wing my notes, fierce paſſions urge the ſtrain;
Strong flame the fires that kindle in my ſoul;
I ſtrike the wiery harp, nor will refrain;
Mad is deſpair, and ſcorns each feeble rein,
Feelings like mine no virtue can control.
Stifled, th’ inflated heart with pain reſpires,
My crimſon veins with ſtruggling blood are preſs’d,
My cheeks are fluſh’d with paſſion’s transient fires;
My brain with agonies diſtracted flies,
Till the fierce ſtreams burſt from my burning eyes,
And drowning torrents cool my panting breaſt.
With awe my ſoul the wreck of Nature views,
The ſtorm amid the echoing mountain hears;M4 The 168 M4v 168
The ſighs of Autumn, mingling with my tears,
Mourn the ſad ravages which time purſues.
Hear the wild roar of the tempeſtuous blaſt,
Whirling the foreſt leaves to diſtant air!
See blooming flowers in ſcatter’d fragments caſt,
While torrents pouring thunder on the ear!
The ſun’s bright beam in dreary winter loſt,
Not joyleſs is, as me, on paſſion’s tempeſt toſt.
My youthful charms fade ’neath my burning eyes,
The ſoul-entrancing morn of pleaſure flies;
A raging ſorrow ſweeps without control
Thoſe germs of genius which alone inſpire:
The ſenſual paſſions which conſum’d my ſoul,
Burn my diſtemper’d boſom with their fire.
Long lightnings glance ſtill from my ſtreaming eyes,
Though vain around the fiery circles roll;
Virtue and pleaſure vaniſh from my ſoul;
The tranſient ſhadow of my glory flies.
Impaſſion’d ſtrains my trembling lips rehearſe,
Echoing my ſoul the numbers pierce the ſkies,
I ſeem (deluſions thus my mind impair)
To catch the potent fires of Edran’s eyes:
On loftieſt pinions then, more noble verſe
Burſts into ſound, and floats upon the air,
Till memory burſts on my deluded heart,
Mingling diſcordant ſtrains of deep deſpair.
Diſtracting thoughts upon my ſpirit pour,
No longer in deluſive dreams I reſt,
Such paſſions mingle with each bitter ſhower!
A father’s image meets my troubled breaſt;
Ah! wandering heart! how bitterly diſtreſs’d!
Conſuming flames will ſoon thy ſtrength o’erpower,
And thou abandon’d die, with guilt oppreſs’d.
Her father, ſoon returning, heard her fate,
Whilſt he anticipates his child’s embrace,
And empty hopes his joyful heart elate;
O’erwhelm’d at once he’s blaſted with diſgrace:
No deeper pang his boſom can endure;
The laurels fade on his victorious brow;
From his uplifted arms, in fraud ſecure,
The villain fled, and ſhunn’d th’ impending blow.
The parent view’d his loſt deſponding child,
But did not chaſe the ſufferer from his breaſt,
For Chriſtian charity, benign and mild,
Was deeply on his noble heart impreſs’d:
Patient enquiries taught him the baſe art
With which the vile ſeducer ſpread his ſnare,
The weakneſs of her loſt deluded heart,
And preſent ſtruggles of her wild deſpair;
To ſnatch her from th’ abyſs with haſte he ran,
And warmly thus the tender ſire began:
O! tremble not to meet thy parent’s eyes,
But to mine open arms for refuge fly;
From dark deſpondency, O Arla! riſe;
Child of my boſom, calm the ſtruggling ſigh.
Faſt fall, ye tears, till ye have drown’d my ſight;
Quicken, ye pulſes, your encreaſing fire;
O! let me loſe myſelf in endleſs night,
I burn with ſhame, I ſicken at the light:
When will my paſſions in the grave expire?
Thro’ wild exceſs my hopes are all o’erthrown,
My genius blighted, and each virtue flown.
Alas! what fiend is haraſſing thy breaſt,
Urging thy paſſions like impetuous wind?“Convulſively 172 M6v 172
Convulſively they rage, and unſuppreſs’d
Will wreck the nobler functions of thy mind:
Is pure religion then no longer known?
How is thine heart thus from thy Maker flown?
Short-breathing, deep with recent wounds I ſmart,
And burſting in my boſom heaves mine heart;
In vain my ſoul th’ o’erwhelming ſtorm would calm,
Nor can the dreams of wild devotion charm.
Deluſive Faith! ſeducer of my youth!
Thy wilder tranſports my young fancy caught,
Delirious viſions led me far from truth,
Provok’d my paſſions, and my miſery wrought;
From ignorance I wak’d to bitter thought,
Saw clear the folly that had led aſtray,
Guilt’s burning bluſhes met the dawning day.
Talk not of day; O! wrapt in darkeſt night!
Still deepening the dire ſhades which truth ſhould break;
Enthuſiaſtic miſts have dimm’d thy ſight,
From which alone to guilt thou didſt awake;
Unknowing truth, religion you miſtake:
’Tis not the raging of a zealot’s fires,
Nor viſions which from pamper’d fancies ſpring,
Nor ſtrains which a diſtemper’d zeal inſpires,
Though harmony awak’d its loftieſt ſtring.
Religion is the tribute of a heart
Which ſtrongly feels God’s goodneſs and his power,
And humbly ſtrives to ſtrengthen its deſert,
And, firm in hope, his attributes t’ adore.
’Twas thus I taught thee, when I fir’d thy ſoul
With God’s omnipotence and wondrous love,
But madly thou haſt ſtarted from control,
And o’erſtrain’d raptures deadly poiſons prove:8 “Prayers 174 M7v 174
Prayers are but ſounds that mount to heaven in vain,
While uncurb’d paſſions rage with boundleſs ſway;
Strong principles muſt potent minds reſtrain,
Or dire extremes will on the reaſon prey.
With ineffectual ſounds wound not mine ear,
Light as the winds, they cannot reach the ſoul:
SheWhich, like a hollow blaſt, thy voice can hear,
And folding on heritſelf rebukes control.
To death alone my ſpirit looks for aid,
For all around me teems with dire diſmay;
Each earthly bliſs, alas! is torn away,
And fierce diſtractions my weak ſoul pervade.
Pierc’d by my fate, ſtung with deluſion’s power,
I pant for death, and urge the mortal hour.
Thou haſt forgot thy ſoul can never die,
That to the virtuous only death is reſt;“Cover’d 175 M8r 175
Cover’d with guilt, o’erwhelm’d with infamy,
While earthly paſſions canker at thy breaſt,
Wouldſt thou thus ruſh into eternity?
The ſtrong rebellious ſpirit heard him ſpeak,
As fix’d on death her deſperate paſſions wrought;
A ſudden paleneſs ſmote her crimſon cheek,
And trembling horror chill’d awak’ning thought.
She roll’d her fiery eyes, but found no reſt,
Her panting heart congeal’d with ſudden fears;
Then, ruſhing on her father’s ſuffering breaſt,
Burſt in an agonizing ſhower of tears.
Nor did he ſtrive her anguiſh to control,
But let it rage till all its force was ſpent,
Then touch’d the filial feelings of her ſoul,
Till to his words a willing ear ſhe lent;And 176 M8v 176
And then the heavenly precepts he diffus’d
Which breathe forgiveneſs to the guilty heart,
The ſimple tenets ſhe had once abus’d
Now ſnatch her from deſpondency and ſmart:
But, ere the tumult of her ſoul had reſt,
The ſun of truth her mental darkneſs clear’d;
Burſt the thick clouds which had her mind oppreſs’d,
While hope divine her woe-fraught boſom chear’d.
To depths of ſolitude ſhe would have flown
To purify the paſſions of her breaſt,
To cheriſh truth ſequeſter’d and alone,
With meditation’s penſive pleaſures bleſt:
But her wiſe parent check’d her erring mind,
Who piety with ſtrong reflection join’d.
He cried, What new deluſions wouldſt thou try?
To what romantic wilds would Arla fly?
A mind prone to extremes theſe wiſhes fires,
’Tis paſſion, and not virtue, which inſpires.“Large 177 N1r 177
Large powers, with deep experience, ſcarce are food
For the reflective cave of ſolitude.
O’er what would thy ſad meditations roll?
Still idle dreams would riſe and cloud thy ſoul;
Which practical devotion muſt efface,
And the ſtrong exerciſe of virtue chaſe:
Thy mind already on itſelf has prey’d,
Blinded through inexperience, and betray’d;
From Nature’s grander traits conceptions caught,
Have wak’d thy genius and enrich’d thy thought;
But weak at root, though lofty and o’ergrown,
Thy mind is by each caſual blaſt o’erthrown;
Let ſtrengthen’d virtue, then, each thought inſpire,
And cheriſh’d reaſon check wild fancy’s fire.
He ſpake; ſhe felt the wiſdom of his words,
Her heart, reſigned, to ſimple truth accords.
A Song of Arla, Written During Her Enthusiasm.
Flush’d, from my reſtleſs pillow I aroſe,
To calm my thoughts, ſad ſtranger to repoſe;
Wandering through woods, by night’s dread ſhadows gloom’d,
At every glade I penſive rear’d my eyes,
And view’d the fleecy clouds fleet o’er the ſkies,
Which gathering thick a thouſand forms aſſum’d.
Sudden, while yet I gaz’d, the heavens grew bright;
The graceful ſtar of night
Shot, ’midſt the dark aſſembled hoſt of clouds,
A pure reſplendent light.
The parting vapours floating on the air
Seem’d ſpirits teeming with immortal fire,Bright 179 N2r 179
Bright emanations of th’ Eternal Sire
Unto my ſoul reveal’d by ardent prayer.
Clear, by the moon, a numerous hoſt I view,
Circling its orb, the unclad ſpirits wing,
On muſic’s pinions myſtic flights purſue,
Glide throught the air, and heavenly numbers ſing;
While from on high
Deſcend long beams of light;
A thouſand viſions crowd upon my ſight;
I ſeem to mount, and, borne along the ſky,
Rapt’rous I ſing, in frenzied ecſtaſy:
Whither flies my ſoul, amid the lunar night?
Glory ruſhes on my sight!
Seraphic muſic fills my ear,
Viſionary forms appear
In ſolemn grandeur dight!
Drawn by ſilver raysN2 “Round 180 N2v 180
Round the all-attracting orb,
While Night her ſable wings diſplays,
Which every vivid beam abſorb.
Amid the ſacred hoſt I fly,
Fraught with ſolemn harmony.
Mingling with the lunar beams,
From every eye immortal genius gleams;
The ſoul of ſound
Pervades the ſhadowy ſpace around:
From each wild harp a nightly ſpirit ſprings,
And peals of heavenly muſic ſings;
Grand clouds of darkneſs, hurried by the wind,
Bearing th’ emanations of the mind:
The touch moſt fine,
The gleam moſt magic;
The voice moſt rapt’rouſly divine,
Strains moſt wild and energetic!
All, all combine,
They gather, ſtream;“The 181 N3r 181
The ſounds encreaſe, they join,
While ſtill we fly the circle round,
We dart along, wake every ſound,
And amidſt harmony, and light, and darkneſs, ſhine.
Now op’d the ſtarry regions on my ſight,
And ’thwart dark ſpace ſhot radiant ſtreams of light;
Th’ aereal forms in miſts diſſolving riſe,
Yet ſtill I hear the grand concordant ſong,
Echo’d by all the offspring of the ſkies,
Who each in their eternal language ſung,
While all around brake forth ethereal rays:
From high I heard a new and awful ſound,
Swelling with voice divine the ſong of praiſe.
My feeble ſenſe no longer bears the light,
Oppos’d my eye-lids cloſe,
The heavenly forms I loſe
Amid th’ all-piercing light.My 182 N3v 182
My ears reſound no more, my pulſes ceaſe,
And for a while my ſoul was huſh’d to peace.
Till, waking in the fields, with chill’d affright,
I feel a ſhivering being wandering in the night.
Almighty Power! who rul’ſt this world of ſtorms!
Eternal Spirit of Infinity!
Whoſe wiſdom Nature’s boundleſs ſpace informs,
O! look with mercy on man’s miſery;
Who, toſt on all the elements by turns,
With languor droops, or with fierce paſſion burns.
Submiſſive to life’s caſualties I ſing;
Though ſhort our mortal day, and ſtor’d with pains,
And ſtrongly Nature’s truths conviction bring,
That no firm happineſs this world contains:
Yet hope, ſweet hope, ſupports the pious breaſt,
Whoſe boundleſs views no earthly griefs arreſt.
What dire diſorder ravages the world!
Beaſts, birds, fiſh, inſects, war with cruel ſtrife!§ Created 184 N4v 184
Created matter in contention whirl’d
Spreads deſolation as it burſts to life!
And men, who mental light from heaven enjoy,
Pierce the fraternal breaſt, and impiouſly deſtroy.
Unknown, and nothing in the ſcale of things,
Yet would I wiſdom’s ways aloud rehearſe,
Touch’d by humanity, ſtrike loud the ſtrings,
And pour a ſtrain of more inſpired verſe;
But reaſon, truth, and harmony are vain,
No power man’s boundleſs paſſions can reſtrain.
Stupendous Nature! rugged, beauteous, wild!
Impreſs’d with awe, thy wondrous book I read:
Beyond this ſtormy tract, ſome realm more mild,
My ſpirit tells me, is for man decreed;
Where, unallay’d, bliſs reigns without exceſs:
Thus hope excentric points to happineſs!
Ode on Truth.
Addressed to George Dyer.
Where Fancy paints with Nature’s ſimpleſt hues,
And muſic’s ſoul-entrancing concords join,
There ſhall my numbers hail the modeſt Muſe,
As fervently ſhe pours the generous line!
While nobleſt thoughts mine ardent ſoul inſpire
To catch a glimpſe of Truth, and glow with Nature’s fire.
O Truth! pure virtue’s uncorrupted ſource!
How long ſhall art refract thy glorious rays,
Or prejudice repel thy genuine force,
Till mortal eyes can ſcarce endure the blaze?
How impious thus to quit the heavenly light
For folly’s idle glare, and tapers of the night!
Ye, in whoſe boſoms paſſion holds its ſway,
Whom wild ambition prompts to raiſe a name;
Who, wandering far from Nature’s ſober way,
Would ruſh impetuous to the mount of Fame;
Know, while the ſteep with eager ſteps ye climb,
That, Truth muſt give you ſtrength, Truth only is ſublime.
Whether ye mingle with th’ ecſtatic throng
Who thrill with ſkilful touch the ſounding wire;
Or dare the loftieſt flights of heavenly ſong;
Or to the painter’s noble art aſpire;
Whate’er the path, whatever means be tried,
Nature and Truth your ſteps muſt always guide.
Yet art thou hid, fair Truth, from human eyes,
Exiſting pure, yet ne’er unſullied found.
O! clear thoſe clouds which ſtill infeſt our ſkies,
Diſſolve thoſe ſpecious ſhows which ſtill confound;Burſt 187 O2r 187
Burſt every limit which obſtructs thy ray,
And to the mental eye unfold a cloudleſs day.
Thou, whom fraternal love and freedom fire,
Whoſe wide benevolence unbounded flows,
Whoſe unaffected Muſe thoſe truths inſpire
Which prove that Nature in thy boſom glows;
Through thee has Truth ſhot forth her potent beam,
And ſimple Nature’s praiſe reſounded in thy theme.
That lyre, which ſweetly tun’d its poliſh’d ſtrain,
And ſung of Pity, Liberty, and Peace,
The Muſes ſhall invite to ſtrike again,
And may their virtuous votaries ſtill encreaſe!
Still Truth, through thee, ſhall dart her purerst rays,
And ſimple Nature woo thy modeſt, plaintive lays.
- 9. l. 5. after play, inſert a comma.
- — l. 6. after morn, inſert a period.
- 18. l. 11. for Dire elements in her boſom war did wage— read, Her deſperate paſſions deadly warfare wage.
- 24. l. 10. for large mouth, read, large mouth’d.
- 31. l. 6. for from affections, read, by affection.
- 34. l. 6. for ſinks, read, ſink.
- 36. l. 15. after tyrant fear, leave out the comma.
- 41. l. 2. for rage, read, rays.
- — l. 8. for radiates pure, read, irradiates.
- —. l. 9. for The ſoul of might deeds, th’ immortal part, Whoſe glorious beams through length of ages dart— read, The ſoul of mighty deeds, whoſe fires impart Beams which through length of ages glorious dart.
- 42. 1. 15. for Though, read, for.
- 45. l. 12. for mein, read, mien.
- 46. l. 9. after by turns, leave out the commasemicolon.
- 54. l. 2. for ſuffering, read, ſufferings.
- 59. l. 8. for weep, read, weeps.
- 62. l.14. for adheres to, read, jet ’neath the.
- 84. l. 9. for while others ſleep, read, ſtole hours from ſleep.
- 86. l. 11. for a while read, awhile.
- 92. l. 6. for ign’rance, read, ignorance.
- 96. l. 6. for He ſtarts, confus’d, read, He ſtarts confus’d.
- 122. l. 12. for decide, read, decides.
- —l. 13. for guide, read, guides.
- 131. l. 7. for the rapturous ſcenes to, read, the fertile landſcape.
- 136. l. 9. after ſublime, insert a comma.
- 147.^l. 1. for which, read, with.
- 155153. l. 9. for whence, read, where.