Her Royal Highness
the Princess Charlotte.
Printed by G. F. Harris’s widow and brothers,
The following Pieces were written by a young Female in humble life, a native of Kendal, to beguile her leisure moments. She is an orphan, unlettered, and of exemplary character. Her friends have recommended the present publication, and they would hope that it will not be found unworthy of the notice and kindness of a liberal public. Self-instructed, she is indebted to herself only, for what little knowledge she may possess; and this circumstance, it is hoped, will disarm, as candour must deprecate, the severity of criticism.
Addressed to Prince Leopold of Saxe-Cobourg.
Exalted Stranger, may a muse unknown,
Who claims one title for the task alone,
A Briton’s heart, unite her grief with thine
For the la ost hope of England’s royal line?
One earnest wish lives ever in her breast,
One ardent hope is its perpetual guest,
One warm emotion, strong above controul,
One master-feeling fills, and fires her soul;
Her country claim’d her first and fervent prayer;
Her brightest hope was Albion’s beauteous heir.
With high exulting heart, she hail’d the hour
Which brought thy footsteps to her native shore,
And join’d, at Love and Hymen’s holy shrine,
Fair Charlotte’s willing hand and heart with thine.
Blest union! fraught with every promis’d good
To her dear country, her belov’d abode.
The youthful Princess reign’d her heart’s lov’d queen,
And fancy pictur’d many a happy scene.
Those scenes are fled—Oh! much devoted youth,
Distinguish’d pattern of connubial truth,
Blest with her love, and worthy to be blest,
What now can fill the void within thy breast?
We feel thy loss severe, and mourn our own,
In her, the brightest gem of Albion’s crown.
The vain, the gay, light folly’s thoughtless train,—
They may forget, and pleasure court again;
But thou, fond mourner, to thy grief-worn heart,
Such vain delights no comfort can impart:
Yet may the consolations of a friend,
Thy days of grief, thy lonely nights, attend;
And the fond Muse, who hail’d the rising star,
And lov’d the brightness of its beams afar,
Upon whose lonely hours of solitude,
The pleasures of the world can ne’er intrude,—
Can she forget lamented Charlotte’s doom,
Snatch’d from the world in beauty’s early bloom?
Ah no!—her mem’ry still the sigh will claim,
And tears will start at mention of her name.
A Lament For the Princess Charlotte of Wales.
By Severn’s mighty flood,
Where a thick grove of venerable oaks
O’ershadowed with their lofty arms
A fallen moss-clad tower,
The Cambrian minstrel sat alone and wept;
His hand was on his harp;
The breeze of the mountains sigh’d among the faded leaves;
And the song of the aged bard
Was poured at intervals upon the air.
A voice has come to mine ear,
Such as was heard by the bards of other times,
When the chiefs of the people were low,
When the stately steps of the mighty had ceased,
And silence dwelt in their echoing halls.08 B2v 8
Awake, O harp! and mournful be thy voice;
Let the moaning gale of November
Bear the voice of thy sorrow to ev’ry distant land,
For the joy of the people is departed.
O! Royal Rose of England, fair and majestic,
My aged eyes hoped to behold the day,
When the sceptre would be graceful in thy hand;
But the whirlwind has passed over thee,
And the years of thy prosperity are cut off.
Bright, but mortal transitory flower!
Delight of ev’ry eye!
The perfection of thy beauty is wither’d in a moment,
And thy excellence is shrouded in the dust.
Oh! why were my years prolonged
To witness the mournful scene!
Awake, O harp! thy sad, thy closing strain,
Then let my grey hairs lie with the dust of my fathers.
Joy can never more be mine,
For the daughter of Albion is low,
And all is dark around me.
O earth! O native isle!
O Cambrian hills! once lovely in mine eyes,
How are you changed to a wilderness!
The gathering clouds of winter are dark upon the mountains—
Desolation has stalked o’er the plains—
Pleasure and beauty have vanished beneath his tread—
The fair flowers of the valley are withered,
And shrunk into the dust:09 B3r 9
They will arise renewed in beauty,
But she will return no more—
First and fairest of women,
The ornament, the pride of our land.
O Spring! thy morning no more can delight me;
How should I joy in thy loveliness,
Emblem of her who is gone for ever!
Who was sweet, smiling, and promising like thee,
And ah! whose existence was short as thine own!
A sudden and unlooked-for winter
Has blasted all our budding hopes.
She is perished! and no future day
Can repair the mighty loss.
There is no expectation from the years to come,
That these dim eyes should desire to see them.
I am like an aged solitary tree;
My sons fell in the fields of the valiant—
There are none left to greet me with the voice of affection—
One only hope was mine,
And gladdened my aged heart:
But the young branch of Albion is low—
My country! what a loss is thine!
Nymphs of the sea-surrounded isle,
The dwelling of fair-haired maidens,
Unbind the flowery wreath, and take the starry gems
From your soft and shining locks,
And let the cypress—sad emblem of mortality—10 B3v 10
Encircle your snowy brows:
Exchange the gay robes of gladness
For the sable weeds of affliction,
And lament as for the love of your youth.
Ye youths, bright as the star of morning,
Who gaze with emotion and joy
On the glancing sunbeams of beauty,
Wear the dark and unjoyous habiliments of death,
For the most exalted and the loveliest is no more.
Ye grey-haired heroes of Albion,
Of the isle renowned for the valour of her sons,
The cruel spoiler has entered the dwelling of the mighty:
The hope of your children,
The promise of future generations,
The destroyer has taken away.
A rougher blast swept by—
Withered leaves strewed the plain—
The Severn rolled its sounding strength
To meet the sullen roar of ocean,
Which rushed onward to the shore
With all his mighty waves—
And the song of the bard was suspended.
The shadows of evening sailed along the sky,
The voice of the mountain gale died away;
Thro’ op’ning clouds, beamed in silent beauty
The pale and lovely crescent of the night;
Her soft ray glanced on the darkly tumbling stream,
And slept on ocean’s undulating waves.11 B4r 11
Solemn, and sweet, and majestic,
As if a spirit breathed on his trembling strings,
Awoke once more the bard’s impressive strain.
Bright wanderer of heaven! lookest thou from thy clouds
On the night of our affliction?
Veil thy fair face in a mantle of floating mist,
For the young, the beautiful, the beloved,
Must sleep to-night in the dark and narrow house.
Oh! who shall comfort the widowed spouse of her youth,
Bending in speechless affliction
Over the cold, unconscious form
Of her, so late the joy, the desire of his heart.
Whose melting eye poured on him
The overflowing tenderness of soul;
Whose heart, whose affections were mingled with his.
The deep wound of his bosom, what balm can heal?—
Ah! who shall comfort the childless mother,
’Reft of her only joy?
She is a wanderer among strangers;
And the bright beam which shone so sweetly
Over a distant land,
Promising years of enjoyment to come—
Its light is departed for ever!
Ah! lovely beam, how soon hast thou left us!
Thou wast a pleasant light in darkness,
Storms and tempests were around us,
But we looked to the rising sun of our hopes,12 B4v 12
And our fainting hearts revived:
We blest the lovely dawn,
And rejoiced in the splendour of thy brightness to come.
Oh! deep and unspeakable woe!
Our sun is gone down in the morning of its glory—
Its beams are departed, never more to return!
Sons of the verdant sea-girt isle,
Raise high the song of grief
Around your rocky shores!
Let the boundless circumfluence of ocean
Receive upon its swelling breast
The slow and solemn peal—
For the expectation of nations is departed!
We are as a vessel tossed on a dark and troubled sea,
And the anchor of our hopes is broken:
Dangers and terrors surround us:
Our helm is removed, and who shall direct our course?
My harp, my companion in solitude,
My joy in the silence of age,
Thou should’st have welcomed the shooting rosebud—
But the bud and the parent flower are destroyed.
They are perished together in their loveliness!
The refreshing breeze will not revive them;
The sun, fair light of the morning,
Will behold them no more.
Their place is forlorn and desolate!
O harp! thou should’st have been wreathed with flowers,
But thy chords are entwined with sable yew.—
Never more shall thy rapture-breathing strings
Respond to the light touch of gladness.
I wil suspend thee, a memorial, over her tomb,
That the breeze may visit thee,
And awake thy mournful tones.
O harp!—the voice of lofty Phinlimmon!
Thou should’st have poured the strains of joy,
To hail her seated on the throne of her fathers,
Queen of a mighty nation—
The object of hope and affection—
Mistress of ocean’s loveliest isles.
But oh! calamity unutterable,
Oh! grief which breaks my aged heart—
Thou must breathe deep lamentations over her grave!
Oh! cannot the voice of her country recall her to life?
Will her eyes never again emit their lovely beams?
Will her voice never be heard by her sorrowing people?
Alas! she is silent and unconscious—
Death has sealed her lips, and closed her eyes:
She hears not our sighs, she beholds not our tears.—
Oh! vision of bliss—and art thou gone for ever?
Oh! form of light—beheld and admired, and vanished in a moment—
And wilt thou return no more?
Frail and unstable mortality,
No confidence, no security is thine!—
The Great Sovereign of the universe alone
Is unchangeable and for ever.
Elegiac Scenes.Scene—a sequestered dell, with a view of the sea-shore...... Time—midnight....Enter two Shepherdesses from a cottage..... Dirge of Sea Nymphs....Dirge of Wood Nymphs.
Oh! that this lonely watch of night were past,
For sleep hangs heavy on my weary eye-lids:—
Think’st thou not, Rosamond, ’tis time to go?
’Tis early yet: the moon is scarcely risen,
And we shall want the guidance of her beams.
Is it far to walk, or difficult the path?
Thou know’st a spot where runs a little brook;
The stars of heaven ne’er saw their glitt’ring fires
In purer chrystal than its soft gliding waters,
Which half encircle, in their silent course,
A verdant plain—an earthly paradise.
Behind it rise, protecting woody heights,
And from the lovely dell, shut out the world:—
There, thro’ the summer months, the winged choirs,15 C2r 15
In the sweet shade, make pleasant melody:
There, undisturbed, the fearless redbreast builds,
And sings his requiems, all the winter long.
You loiter, maids, the midnight hour is past;
’Tis time to go and sing the hallowed dirge
Around the high-born lady’s grave.
We’re ready, brother—you must lead the way.
Hark!—did you not hear wild minstrelsy—
Soft—unknown music, breathed on th’ ear of night?
And see!—what strange procession yonder comes,
Advancing from the foaming surge of ocean;—
And glitt’ring sea-shells are the instruments
Producing that wild strain of harmony.
See how they bend their steps tow’rds the spot,
Where beauteous Charlotte lies!—let us attend,
And mark what this may mean.
Dirge of Sea Nymphs.
Lady of illustrious birth,
Sleeping in this virgin earth—
Hapless England’s regal flower,
Snatch’d, in an untimely hour,16 C2v 16
From thy people’s longing eyes—
And wither’d in thy op’ning bloom;—
Be hither brought, to grace thy tomb,
Whate’er the tributary sea,
Lofty mountains, wood and field,
And the earth’s vast caverns yield,
Great and beautiful like thee.
From the rocks that guard this isle
We’ll raise the monumental pile,
Token of her country’s woe.
The tablet bring of sable stone,
T’ inscribe a nation’s griefs upon—
And polish’d marble, white as snow,
Pure as her unsullied name,
Everlasting as her fame,
Memorial of their love to be:
That, on the ever-during page,
Britons to every future age
May transmit her memory.—
We bring from ocean’s liquid plain
All the wealth its caves contain,
Tribute to our island queen;—
Coral branches round be hung,
And the tinted pearl among
Shall shed its dewy light serene—
Let the deep and secret mine,
From its cavern’d rocks resign
All its countless sparry gems,
Adorn’d with ev’ry hue of light—
Thro’ the sable shades of night,
Reflecting the pale planet’s beams.17 C3r 17
And we will come at eventide,
When, high in heav’n, the moon doth ride,
And—o’er the consecrated grove,
Where lamented beauty sleeps,
Vesper bright, his vigil keeps—
Mildly beaming star of love—
We’ll sing the mournful elegy;
And the tears we shed for thee,
In mem’ry of thy early worth,
Budding snowdrops shall become—
Beauteous mourners round thy tomb—
Lady of illustrious birth!
We may return, our purpose is prevented.
We bring no offerings meet for this majestic pile;
Nor may a shepherd’s simple monody
Presume to share the long-enduring fame
Of this fair monument, and her renown.
Hark!—was there not again the sound of music—
The mellow winding of the distant horn,
And echo’s soft response the woods among?
A train of sylvan sisters this way come
To pay their homage! each one in her hand
Bears a young sapling, the forest’s tender shoot.
Dirge of Wood Nymphs.
Silent and slow—tread softly around—
While as tribute of grief and affection you bring
The flowers of the summer, the buds of the spring,
On this green grassy hillock their sweets to bestrew.—
Embalm with the wild thyme and vi’let the ground;
Plant the cowslip and primrose—sweet blooms of young May:
She was beauteous, and ah!—she was fleeting as they.
Let the wild wood’s pale blossom, The Anemone, or Wind-flower. of delicate hue,
And the flower of Parnassus surcharged with dew,
Bend over the sod, while their fair cups o’erflow,
For lovely was she who lies sleeping below
For lovely was she who lies sleeping below.
Plant the fresh budding myrtle—she died in her youth—
The woodbine, whose fragrance breathes balm on the air,
The jasmine bestudded with sweet flo’rets fair,
And the rose of the wilderness, matchless in bloom—
Emblems of innocence, tenderness, truth:
Bedew’d by our tears, they shall flourish and twine,
And their mingling boughs bend o’er this honour’d shrine;
Their foliage shall shade, and their blossoms perfume,
This shrine of affection, this hallowed tomb;19 C4r 19
And the willow hang o’er, in mute semblance of woe;—
Oh! much was she lov’d who is sleeping below!
Oh! much was she lov’d who is sleeping below!
Raise the sheltering grove round this mournful retreat,
Where the joy of a nation—its lost treasure—lies;
We mark’d the bright beam of its glory arise,
Then saw it—extinguish’d, and shrouded in earth.
Bring the oak of the forest—centinel meet,
To watch o’er the slumbering dust of a queen,
And the holly—bright plant of unchangeable green;
Bring the tall stately laurel—sacred to worth—
For pure was her fame, and lofty her birth;
And, ensign of grief, let the dark cypress grow—
O England! thy princess is sleeping below!
O England! thy princess is sleeping below!
That was a moving air!
O brother! how that plaintive voice of echo
Thrills the heart.—But late I sought,
In yonder wood, a grotto’s arched cell,
And, seated by a little bubbling brook,
Graved on the stone, lamented Charlotte’s name,
And then—pronounced it softly, with a sigh;20 C4v 20
As soft the unseen nymphs the name repeated:
I could not hear unmoved—fast fell my tears!
And wherefore, said I, ye transparent drops,
Come ye so swiftly from your secret spring,
When call’d by that much lov’d and honour’d name?
Will that deep fountain be exhausted never?
Ah me! the plaintive echo answer’d—Never.—
Enter a Stranger.
Beseech you, maidens, pardon my intrusion;
This lovely moonlight tempted me to walk,
Nor thought I other company to find.
Have you not seen the wonders of to-night?—
This pile, the hands of duteous sea nymphs rear’d,
And Dian’s maids have planted this young grove.
Indeed! your tale is very wonderful.—
Methinks I hear a strain of soft faint music;
It seems to come from yonder pendant harp,
Hung on a branch of that broad-spreading elm.
’Tis the far-famed harp of aged Lywan—
When our fair princess died, the grey-hair’d bard
There left it—token of his lasting woe.
Peace!—it breathes again—what touching melody!21 D1r 21
Oh! how it seems to lift the soul from earth!
Some heavenly visitant sure swept the chords.
New wonders still! see what a gorgeous band!
Ah! by their massy crowns, of antique frame,
Their flaxen locks, and snowy foreheads high,
Blue smiling eyes, incomparably sweet.
And form majestic, as earth’s first-born sons—
These are the shades of Anglo-Saxon kings.
First of the band, distinguish’d by his harp,
His lofty port, and eyes which look to heaven,
(Eyes whose bright beams outshine the twinkling stars)
Is he, the royal minstrel, sainted chief.—
He strikes the string—O list’ning earth be silent!
Alfred’s Welcome to the Invisible World.
Sister, from thy mortal cell,
Called in realms of bliss to dwell,
Early hast thou bade farewell
To this low scene of vanity.
Short thy race, a race of light,
Ne’er did deep affliction’s night
O’er thy sky, serene and bright,
Unveil its sable drapery.
Of ev’ry earthly good possest,D 22 D1v 22
By fond and faithful love carest,
Far above thy fellows blest,
The world’s best joys were given to thee.
O happy lot! peculiar boon!
To be remov’d from earth so soon,
While yet thy bosom scarce had known
The sorrows of humanity.
’Gainst thee, no pleading country’s cries,
Unheard and unregarded sighs,
Bore accusations to the skies,
Or broke thy mind’s serenity.
Thou wast thy country’s hope and care,
For thee, was breathed the fervent prayer,
That heaven thy valu’d life would spare,
Its treasure for futurity.
Vanish’d for ever from their eyes,
Thy people’s deep laments and sighs
Have graced thy mournful obsequies— Vide Gray’s Bard.
Their tears embalm thy memory.
Come, favoured pilgrim, to thy rest
In the regions of the blest,
Come, and be a welcome guest
In mansions of eternity.
Thou hast left a name below,
Honour’d by thy country’s woe;
Her love shall deathless fame bestow,
Her song thy immortality.
From thy monumental stone
May future heirs of England’s throne23 D2r 23
Learn, that by worth is won alone,
A gen’rous nation’s loyalty.
Oh! may they learn how rich a gem,
The brightest in their diadem,
A pearl of matchless price to them
Their people’s love will ever be—
And thou, sad mourner, left below,
To tread alone this vale of woe,
Tho’ awhile thy tears must flow
On scenes of sad mortality.
Yet the bleak and joyless waste,
Ravaged by the wintry blast
Of disappointment, will be past;
And beyond its boundary,
On a bright and blissful shore,
When the reign of death is o’er,
Kindred minds shall meet once more
To share unmixed felicity.
’Twas when o’er purple-tinted heights,
Twilight her shadowy mantle spread,
That fervent admiration led,
In search of nature’s pure delights,
And lonely extasies of bliss,
An ardent youth—enthusiasm’s child—
To hanging rocks, and wood, and wild:—
To him how dear th’ untrodden wilderness!
How sweet that boundless solitude,
Where foot profane could ne’er intrude
Upon his hours of hallow’d happiness!
But other musings, other cares,
Would oft his feeling heart employ;
Would steal his thoughts from nature’s joy,
And prompt his wishes and his prayers.26 D3v 26
And, Oh my country! ever dear,
(Oft from his lips in whispers broke,
While sighs still answer’d as he spoke,)
How much for thee I feel, how much I fear!
Must thou, in thy disastrous day,
To cruel factions fall a prey?
No patriot’s spirit blest, thy guardian angel, near
To warn thy sons, and bid them wake
From their long mental lethargy;
The perils round their path to see,
And cold self-interest’s chains to break?
While, to the silence of the night,
The thoughtful youth thus poured his sighs,
A form majestic met his eyes;—
A regal crown, with matchless splendour bright,
Upon his head resplendent gleam’d—
His face with awful beauty beam’d—
His eye, like Hesper’s star, shot rays of vivid light.
A signet ring, by monarchs wore,
Displayed, in characters of flame,
On the pure diamond’s blaze, a name,
Which once the good and mighty bore.—
Joy kindled in the gazer’s eyes:
Art thou, he cried, with glad surprise,
That chief long in my secret thoughts rever’d?
Art thou that man of honour’d name,
That monarch of unsullied fame,
Than whom a greater ne’er on earth appear’d?
That Saxon chieftain of renown,
Whose firm, unyielding fortitude,
By toils and dangers unsubdued,
Step by step his kingdom won?
Art thou that wonder of mankind,
The hero rais’d by heaven, to save
His bleeding country from the grave?
The prince, who an unletter’d race refin’d?
He of his infant state the soul,
The spirit breathing thro’ the whole,
The general, legislator, saint, combined?
Mild conqueror! in mercy great!
Unequall’d hero! peerless king!
Thy rival can no nation bring.
Founder of England’s ancient state!
Oh! blest of heaven, thy country’s joy,
Her boast, her glory—and art thou
Her great protecting genius now?
And does her welfare yet thy mind employ?
Then to my doubts, my fears, adieu;
My hopes, reviving, live anew,
Stern ruin shall not yet her goodly frame destroy.—
Here paus’d the youth, with anxious eye
Regarding his illustrious guest,
To read the secrets of his breast,
And, doubtful, waiting his reply—
Like as when rising mists intrude
Upon the pathway of the sun,
And, ere his morning course be run,28 D4v 28
The brightness of his glory shroud;
Thus, veiling ev’ry angel grace
Of the majestic vision’s face,
Rose shadowy, dark, affliction’s cloud.
Oh land beloved! at length he said,
And wav’d with an impassioned air
His hand o’er England’s vallies fair,
So beauteous all around him spread:
Land, for whose sake I sacrificed
Ease, and repose, and ev’ry joy
Which might a monarch’s thoughts employ,
And gay luxurious indolence despis’d!
All toils and dangers dared by day,
And sleepless pass’d the nights away,
Nor either pomp, or wealth, or pleasure prized
Above thy welfare!—Can it be
That there are those so lost, so dead,
Who thy immortal fields can tread,
(The volumes of posterity,)
And feel no spark of sacred fire!
Who the high privilege can claim
To be thy sons—title which bears
The honours of collected years,
The long accumulated fame
Which each succeeding age has brought,
Since thy green shores fierce Hastings sought;
Heirs to the proud distinction of thy name!
Can there be men amongst thy sons
Forgetful of its ancient worth,
Blind to the glory of their birth—
A glory worth all Europe’s thrones—
Men—whom all these cannot inspire
With virtue’s emulative flame,
And with a gen’rous sense of shame,
Above each mean pursuit and low desire—
Men—so degenerate and so weak,
To whom these motives do not speak,
And wake some feeble spark of patriot fire?
Can those, sprung from an ancient line,
Who boast of noble ancestry,
(The honour of humanity,)
Whose names, like lights in darkness, shine—
From men wise in adversity,
Whose virtues rais’d them high as kings—
Be dwindled down to trifling things?
Who reekless turn, with cold averted eye,
From desolation’s spreading reign,
And hear a nation plead in vain,
In her dark season of calamity—
Who drown with mirth and music’s voice,
The sufferers’ long repeated cries;
On scenes of mis’ry shut their eyes,
And while their country mourns—rejoice!
Who croud the banquet, spread the feast,
And drown, in the Circean bowl,
Each gen’rous impulse of the soul,30 E1v 30
Each feeling of a warm and manly breast!
Whose ear ’gainst pity’s voice is seal’d,
Whose breasts, by hard self-interest steel’d,
Admit no nobler passion for a guest!
Or fly from the intruding sound
Of still increasing misery,
And uncouth sights of poverty,
To hold their revels on some foreign ground—
Are these the sons of England?—Oh ye brave!
Ye spirits of the martyr’d dead—
In ev’ry land, who fought and bled,
Your country from the threat’ning storm to save,
The tempest of continued years,
When all was darkness, doubts and fears—
Rise, ye who fell by thousands, from the grave,
And enter, uninvited guests,
The halls of those for whom you died,
In strength of youth and beauty’s pride,
To wake reflection in their breasts—
Plead by the perils you have borne,
Fatigues, and wounds, and lingering pain,
And death upon the dreadful plain,
From love and friendship’s kind endearments torn;
By widow’d mothers’ deep distress,
And starving children fatherless,
To charity’s cold pittance left forlorn.
Reflect, ye thoughtless, ere too late—
England may brave all foreign arms,31 E2r 31
And stand superior to alarms—
’Tis her own sons must seal her fate.
Ye few, whose virtuous hearts beat high
At mention of your country’s name;
Who love her freedom and her fame,
And greatly joy in her prosperity,
Be firm of soul—unmov’d by fear;
Remember me, and persevere;
And may your glorious cause be crown’d with victory.
The vision paus’d—then, with benignant eye,
Thus the attentive youth addressed:
Thou—in whose bosom lives a guest,
Not born to slumber or to die;
Not one of apathy’s cold train;
No feeble beam that lives a day,
Nor particle of earthly clay,
Which torpid and inactive may remain—
Thou, to the precious charge be just;
Be faithful in the important trust—
That principle was not bestow’d in vain.
And if that spirit, like a mounting flame,
By long resistance unrepress’d,
Perpetual struggle in thy breast,
Too mighty for thy mortal frame;—
And if that eloquence divine,
Sublime, and strong, whose influence darts
Conviction to the coldest hearts;
The kindling verse, the glowing line,32 E2v 32
Which every feeling mind can charm—
Which every heart can wake and warm—
If that persuasive eloquence be thine—
Oh! let not timid, coward fear,
Nor dread of loss, nor hope of gain,
Its animated course restrain,
Nor bound its bright, its wide career:
Uncircumscribed let it flow;
Nor check that spirit’s quenchless fire,
Which prompts the breathings of the lyre—
That pure high-born, imperishable glow,
Which in thy bosom keenly burns,
Which warms thy soul, which feels and mourns,
With keen perceptions, all thy country’s woes.
While there is wretchedness to crave
That succour which it hourly needs;
While want’s sad voice incessant pleads;
While there is hope in heaven to save,
Or yet one human heart to feel—
Oh! be not silent.—One ingenuous mind,
Recall’d from folly’s paths, to find
A new and nobler object of its zeal;
Rouz’d from its inactivity,
Its new-born energies to try,
In great exertions for the public weal—
Were of more worth than countless years
Of silent, solitary grief,
Hopeless, despairing of relief—33 E3r 33
Than sighs and unavailing tears,
Which useless waste thy life away—
Deep treasur’d in thy memory, store
My counsels, and revere my lore:
If this prevailing spirit should decay—
If hearts, like thine, from arduous duty shrink,
Or in desponding weakness sink—
Then may my country dread her evil day.
The voice had ceas’d—the vision gone—
Yet on the list’ning ear still rung
Th’ awakening accents of that tongue,
Like music of the world unknown—
Awful, yet sweet.—Th’ astonish’d bard
Knelt on the ground where late had prest
The footsteps of th’ illustrious guest,
And thus to heaven his fervent vows preferr’d:
Be witness, ye immortal powers,
I pledge that till life’s latest hours,
By no mean aims, no selfish views deterr’d,
My voice shall for my country plead;
Shall be unwearied in her cause;
Nor even tho’ danger should oppose,
Shall from the glorious toil recede.
And thou supreme o’er all the earth—
Sov’reign, whose undisputed will,
Th’ events of every age fulfil;
Oh! deign to give another Alfred birth:
Gift some exalted noble mind,
The boast and blessing of mankind,
With his great talents—his transcendent worth—
Oh! bless once more, and save the land;
Which, when beset on every side
With ruin’s vast o’erwhelming tide,
Was shielded by thy mighty hand—
Thro’ scenes which ev’ry heart dismay’d,
Thro’ years with desolation fraught,
Was by thy power in safety brought—
Oh! let thy mercy be again display’d—
Oh! let a beam of light divine,
Pure wisdom in our councils shine,
And may our rulers look to thee for aid.
Printed by G.F. Harris’s Widow & Brothers, Liverpool.