π1r

Poetical Sketches,

By Ann Batten Cristall.

An engraving of a night scene: a moonlit landscape framed by trees; in the foreground, a figure standing as if caught in the act of turning, one arm outstretched, looking backward; behind him, a horse crouched with its head thrown back; in the background, a small structure, possibly a house. Below the engraving, a caption reads “Mourning his generous Friend while sad he stood. Holbain.”

“Mourning his generous Friend while sad he stood.” Holbain.

London. Printed for J Johnson, St. Paul’s Church Yard. 17951795.

π1v A1r

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Preface A5r

Preface.


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 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 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.

A6v
Poetical B1r

Poetical Sketches,
in Irregular Verse.

Before Twilight.

Eyezion.

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.

B Quick B1v 2

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! B2r 3

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?

B2 These B2v 4

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?

Eyezion.

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 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, 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.

Viza.

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.

Eyezion.

Drawn by what irresistless power,

Shall I with trembling notes recite,

3 Why, 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.

Viza.

Methinks the fading night decays,

And morning breezes fan the air.

Eyezion.

Distinct I view the silvering rays

O’er yonder mountain tops appear.

B4 Viza. B4v 8

Viza.

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.

Morning. B5r 9

Morning.

Rosamonde.

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!

Her ringlets o’er her temples play,

Flush’d with the orient splendour of the morn.

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 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 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!

Noon. B6v 12

Noon.

Lysander.

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 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 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 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 B8v 16

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.
I far in vice have stray’d; And, too severe, The parents who ador’d the maid, No sighs from my repentant heart would hear: Till, raging in despair, I franticly resolv’d to die— “Rather C1r 17 Rather than (sad alternative!) to lie Amid the streets, and common insults share.”

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 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;

Dire elements in her bosom war did wage,

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 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!

C2 Evening. C2v 20

Evening.

Gertrude.

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 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 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’ 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 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:

The loud and witty large-mouth Madge,

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 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 C5v 26

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;

While Rosamonde,

Fleet-footed, glowing Rosamonde, he led:

The rapture of the lark her voice sent forth,

Too well, ah! Gertrude knew its worth;

Dire 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 C6v 28

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 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.”

Night. C7v 30

Night.

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 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.

Pierc’d by ingratitude, I rove forlorn, My faithful heart from strong affection’s torn; A willing exile on the dangerous main, Unshook by storms, while calms breathe peace in
vain.
Oft with unmanly tenderness I mourn, And, tortur’d by imagination, burn; Sighs in a natural cadence close each song, And tones of anguish vibrate on my tongue.
All is now hush’d, still as the silent grave, The breeze scarce swells the smooth unruffled wave, Which glittering with celestial lustre bright, Reflects the spangled heaven’s ethereal light: “O! how C8v 32 O! how sublime this tract, for man design’d! Vast the perceptions of his rapid mind! Strongly to earth his young affections cling, While Fancy waves her bright and various wing; But soon each hope of earthly bliss is cross’d, Nipt in the bud, or in possession lost; Blushing, our empty wishes we survey, When we our passions with their motives weigh. Deeply I feel this still and solemn hour, Impress’d with God’s immeasurable power; While worlds unnumber’d ’mid yon ether burn, And thoughts immense pour in where’er I turn. How much man errs, whose soul, with thought sublime, Looks on tow’rds endless bliss thro’ boundless time! When he to earthly passions gives dire sway, Or mourns those joys which of themselves decay!”
Song. D1r 33

Song.

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?

Wavering in a doubtful state, Impell’d by reason and desire, D “Strongly D1v 34 Strongly I feel an innate pow’r Raising the sparks of youthful fire; While warmer fancy, genuine art, Urg’d by the touch, break forth to flame; But, chill’d by the cold worldling’s frown, And starv’d by reason, sinks again. Bewilder’d now I see the book of fate unfold: Ah! idiot Fortune, why Should genius smother’d die, When fled by base delusive gold? When fled by base delusive gold? Unerring Pow’r! dare I complain? Yet sure mysterious is thy way! That the vile dust dug from the earth Should rule with such unbounded sway; Should smother up the seeds of love, And check the emanating fire That swells the rip’ning artist’s breast, And wakes the soul-entrancing lyre! “Ah! D2r 35 Ah! sad disgrace to man’s diviner mould! For, idiot Fortune! why Should genius smother’d die, When fled by base delusive gold? When fled by base delusive gold? Murmuring thus at partial fate, The wretch’s comfort I pursue: How sweet those plaintive moments pass, How tuneful, but alas! how few! Courting the Muses, here my lute Soft I attune, and hail the sky, Reading the traits of heavenly love, Aloud I breathe this ardent sigh: Ah! when to me will Nature’s works unfold? Through cruel Fortune, I In canker’d rust may die, If fled by thee, delusive gold! If fled by thee, delusive gold!”
D2 Holbain. D2v 36

Holbain.

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;

Where tyrant fear, with thrilling horror press’d,

Till now a stranger to his daring breast.

An 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.

D3 He D3v 38

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, D4r 39

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 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, D5r 41

“Glory, reply’d the youth, has spread its charms;

I caught its rage rays, and chose to follow arms;

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,

Radiates pure truth, and makes e’en virtue bright;

The soul of mighty deeds, th’ immortal part,

Whose glorious beams through length of ages dart.”

“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 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;

Tho For, wanting strength, none e’er can reach the heights

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 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 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 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,

And education’s power their mein confess’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 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.

As he observes the family by turns ;

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 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 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:—

There stood a fabric, deeply wrapt in woods, Where hoarse resounded loud impetuous floods, Which from the hills in rapid torrents gush’d ’Mid the dark trees, and down the vallies rush’d; “The E1r 49 The ruin’d walls were round with ivy spread, And gloomy shades wild Gothic grandeur shed. The aweful ocean’s wond’rous space was nigh, Whose roarings wak’d a deep solemnity!— Often, with youth’s romantic raptures fraught, In meditation lost, these scenes I sought; Here mus’d, here read; the Muses courted here, And strove to draw them from their tuneful sphere: Thus fir’d, my genius boundless scope employ’d. Glanc’d o’er all nature, and her works enjoy’d. My mother (ever honour’d be her name! Warm’d by whose force my spirit burst to flame; Whose stronger passions, chasten’d by our sire, Still fill her children’s pulses with her fire) Listen’d, whilst I its various beauties told, And sought the Gothic structure to behold; Her breast maternal in my joys took part, My feelings were congenial to her heart; At her request we went, nor mark’d on high A threatening storm which gather’d o’er the sky. E “I led E1v 50 I led my mother through the devious wood, To where, involv’d with trees, the fabric stood; With equal awe she view’d the solemn place, While warmly I romantic dreams re-trace; The songs I here had tun’d enrapt I read, And hours upon their swiftest pinions fled: Nature, in her still warm, diffus’d the fire Which in her youth loud woke th’ harmonic lyre. I saw her charm’d, and warmly urg’d her stay, To blend her wisdom with my youthful lay, Devoting to her son th’ instructive day. When from her lips a forc’d consent I drew, I caught her words, and for refreshments flew; While she within the tottering castle stays, And all the grandeur of the scene surveys, Stupendous clouds were rolling o’er the heav’n, Strong rush’d large torrents, by quick eddies driv’n. In curious choice of dainty viands bent, (O never pardon’d folly!) far I went: “Too E2r 51 Too far, alas!—a friend partook the way, With whom in converse thoughtlessly I stray: Pleas’d with myself, while partial praise I sought, The best of mothers vanish’d from my thought; Till rouz’d by a tremendous storm, which broke Thro’ the vast heavens, and my remembrance woke. Strong gather’d thro’ the trees the whirling gale, Blew bleak a while, then whistled in the vale; Then on it came, and with redoubled force Strove ’midst contending trees to wing its course; Driv’n back again, loud roaring it complains, Or blustering thunders o’er the neighbouring plains: Wildly I heard the stormy ocean roar, Wave dash’d on wave flew bellowing to the shore; Grief for my mother fills my labouring breast: Precipitate I flew, with fears oppress’d. The storm with tenfold fury still persists, Scarce the strong oak its dreadful power resists; E2 Borne E2v 52 Borne by its ravings, tost aloft in air, Uprooted, torn, the mangled wood lies bare: Trembling and horror-struck, I rapid flew, Nor could my friend my hasty steps pursue; As I advance th’ o’erwhelming tide arose, Delug’d the plains, and round in surges flows; So fierce the winds, my feet were scarcely staid, While through encroaching waters on I wade; My pulses with strong agitation beat, While present death with thousand horrors threat. And art thou, O my mother! ’mid this storm? What from the winds shall guard thy sacred form? The ruin’d fabric totters at each breath, Perhaps already has conspir’d thy death! Four times I fell, ’midst gushing waters thrown, Borne on by tides, or dash’d against huge stones; Yet strong necessity had giv’n me force, And, spite of obstacles, I speed my course: When near advanc’d I stopp’d, and dar’d not go, Arrested by foreboding sense of woe. “I call’d E3r 53 I call’d aloud on her who speaks no more, Aloud the angry torrents thundering roar! Still nearer on, I trembling call’d again; Still roar’d the winds, and still my voice was vain! Mad with despair, wild tow’rds the spot I rush, Where all around the bellowing torrents gush; No trace of Gothic arch or roof remains, By winds and waters swept along the plains. Deep the contending elements resound, While, lost to thought, my frantic brain turns round: Still seeking what I knew I could not find, My dreadful cries concorded with the wind. Myself I felt the cause;—grief and dismay Rush’d on my brain, and snatch my sense away: My friend preserv’d my life, a thankless load, And bore me to my father from the wood; I knew not how he found me, or where sought, For long suspended were the powers of thought. E3 “I view E3v 54 I view my father, though worn down by care, Sublimely virtuous, keenest suffering bear; His best affections ravish’d from his breast, And sanguine hopes by penury suppress’d: The day my mother died, on tempests tost, Loaded with wealth, his stranded ships were lost; Wing’d with our fate one storm relentless blew, Conspir’d our ruin, and each hope o’erthrew; Yet strong within, to every ill resign’d, Nought shakes the stedfast basis of his mind; For pious Faith, and Hope’s seraphic eye, Unfold the joys of immortality! Active in all his duties here below, Strong perseverance blunts the edge of woe. With industry he heaps our little stores, And still great Nature’s ample page explores; T’ instruct his children in his Maker’s ways, And shew how all by slow degrees decays; That tho’ on earth God’s hand is strong impress’d, Yet higher hopes should fill the human breast. 2 “O! bless’d E4r 55 O! bless’d example of a pious mind! Yet still my stubborn breast pants unresign’d; Not guiltlessly I draw this wretched breath, Nor tranquilly behold the gulf of death.”

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 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.

Song, E5r 57

Song,

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 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 E6r 59

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,

Weep o’er the odorous vernal flowers;

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 E6v 60

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 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 E7v 62

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,

And mossy rocks adhere to woody hills,

From 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 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 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.

F Song. F1v 66

Song.

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 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.

F2 Elegy F2v 68

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, 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, F3v 70

Bless’d,

And possess’d

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.

O bliss!

To what excess

Dost thou delude the heart!

The ties most holy and most pure

Cannot endure—

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

Passion uproots!—

For frail mortality I heave the potent sigh!

Lo! F4r 71

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 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.

Mysterious Power!

To whose dread will I bend,

And 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 F5v 74

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 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 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 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 F7v 78

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, 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 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 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.

G Oft G1v 82

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 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 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.

At night he walks the woods, while others sleep,

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 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 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:

The woods a while conceal the flying fair,

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 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 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 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 G5v 90

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 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!” G6v 92

“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?—

O! force the bliss which ign’rance disdains;—

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 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 G7v 94

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 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 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—

He starts, confus’d, and flies, o’erwhelm’d with fears:

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 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 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 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 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 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.

H3 Selmo, H3v 102

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 H4r 103

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 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 H5r 105

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 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 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 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 H7r 109

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 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 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 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, I1r 113

Song.

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 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!

A Frag- I2r 115

A Fragment.

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 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 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.”

I3 Thelmon I3v 118

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 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.

I4 Part I4v 120

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 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 I5v 122

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.

His heedless wanderings fate or chance decide,

But now again near Carmel’s dwelling guide;

Of which unmindful, still he rov’d the plains,

And to the setting sun pour’d forth sublime his strains.

Part I6r 123

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 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 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 I7v 126

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

grove.

Her I8r 127

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 I8v 128

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 K1r 129

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.

K Part K1v 130

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 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;

As Carmel view’d the rapturous scenes to glow,

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.

K2 She K2v 132

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 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.

K3 Silent K3v 134

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 K4r 135

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’ 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;

His voice sublime his eyes alike inspire,

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 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.

Song. K5v 138

Song.

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!

Glide along,

Join my song,

Meet me in the varied throng;

Crown’d with May,

Laughing gay,

Hailing like a lark the day!

Thus 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.

Tripping gay,

They burst with day,

Blazing with a gaudy ray;

’Midst the bowers

Blooming flowers

Opening, hail the noontide hours.

8 Then 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:

Nightly beams,

Northern gleams,

Magic fire through ether streams;

Round the sky

The hours fly,

Launching to eternity!

Thus K7r 141

Thus ever on the wing,

Come, let us dance and sing,

Trampling on sorrow’s sting,

Laughing at each sigh.

Song K7v 142

Song.

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 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 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 L1r 145

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:

O, rise!

Cloath’d with that modest grace

That veils the glowing beauties of thy face,

And downward points the radiance of thine

eyes.

I wait thee on the thawing mountains,

Where spring dissolves the lingering fountains;

L O! trace 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!

Song. L2r 147

Song.

Through spring-time walks, which flowers perfum’d,

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.

L2 When L2v 148

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.

Song. L3r 149

Song.

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.

L3 ’Tis L3v 150

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.

Elegy. L4r 151

Elegy.

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 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 L5r 153

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.

“Alas!” I thought, “whence tends this toil of life,

Unhappy, vain, delusive, frail, and short,

Envelop’d ’mid disease, death, sin, and strife,

As if weak man was his Creator’s sport?”

Beneath L5v 154

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 L6r 155

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 L6v 156

The Enthusiast.

Arla.

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 L7r 157

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 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 L8r 159

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 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 M1r 161

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 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 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.

M2 Not M2v 164

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 M3r 165

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 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 M4r 167

Songs of Arla.

Song I.

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.

Song II.

With awe my soul the wreck of Nature views,

The storm amid the echoing mountain hears;

M4 The 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.

Song M5r 169

Song III.

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 M5v 170

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:

Father. M6r 171

Father.

“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.”

Arla.

“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.”

Father.

“Alas! what fiend is harassing thy breast,

Urging thy passions like impetuous wind?

“Convulsively 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?”

Arla.

“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.”

Father. M7r 173

Father.

“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 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.”

Arla.

“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.”

Father.

“Thou hast forgot thy soul can never die,

That to the virtuous only death is rest;

“Cover’d 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 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 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.

N A Song N1v 178

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 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 rays

N2 “Round 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 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 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.

An N4r 183

An Ode.

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 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 O1r 185

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!

O Ye, O1v 186

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 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.

Finis.

O2v

Errata.

    Page
  • 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.