1831December 1831—Dublin Kildare St. My husband picked up this little volume today at a Book auction—it is a curious fact that I had quite forgot such a thing had ever existed! I think there was a preface to it by my father stating it to have been written between the age of 12 & 14—It is all child’s writing imitation— illegible— affections— fancies— in all of which both from temperaments & the domestic circumstances of my childhood I was wonderfully engrossed.
Dedicated by permission,
to the right honorable
the Countess of Moira.
&c; &c; &c; &c;
Printed by Alex. Stewart, 86, Bride-street,
and Mr. Philips, 71, Paul’s Church-yard,
To the Right Honorable the Countess of Moira, Baroness Hastings, &c; &c; &c;
Madam, In sanctioning by your patronage the following little poetic sketches, you have conferred an honour on their Author, of which ſhe is infinitely more sensible, than capable of expressing the gratitude it has excited.—Happy in the opportunity afforded her of adding her mite to that public tribute of veneration and esteem the exalted virtues and illustrious character of Lady Moira have elicited, she has the honor to subscribe herself, With the most profound respect, Her Ladyship’s Much obliged and very grateful servant, Sidney Owenson.
The mind of a young Author, on the eve of expoſing to the gaze of public ſcrutiny, the cheriſhed offſpring of its ſolicitude, with all its imperfections on its head, ſeeks to ſtrengthen its hopes and tranquilize its apprehenſions, by adopting every idea which leads to the belief, that the errors of youth will meet with that indulgence in a literary ſenſe, which in a moral one it never fails to obtain—and if there is indeed—In youth a prone and ſpeechleſs dialect, Such as moves men, Shakſepear.
on this principle at leaſt the Author of this little volume may reſt her claim to toleration.—The fugitive trifles it contains, beſt evince in themſelves the period in which they were written;—many of them a young imagination bodied forth in thoſe truant hours which childhoodhood 004 a3v 4 hood loves to ſteal from enforced avocation,—and many of them were the effuſions of an heart newly awakened to happineſs, or ſeeking to loſe its little ſorrows amidſt the playful imagery of fancy’s creation,—faithful tranſcripts from local and intereſting originals, they were compoſed under the influence of the feelings; and their author writing what ſhe thought, rather than thinking what ſhe ſhould write, realized with rapidity the idle viſions of her brain, or veiled beneath the fantaſtic drapery of poetic decoration the natural ſimplicity of thoſe ſentiments, which her heart owned and her underſtanding ratified.
- Joſ. Atkinſon, Eſq. M.R.I.A.
- Miſs Atkinſon
- J. Atkinſon, Eſq.
- Mrs. Auchmuty, Charleſin.
- John Andrews, Eſq.
- Mrs. Andrews
- —Anderſon, Eſq.
- J. Alley Eſq.
- G. Alley, Eſq.
- Lieut. Aſhworth, 68th regt.
- Lady Butler
- Mrs. Blake
- Rev. John Bennet
- Dr. Bell, M. D.
- J. B. Bethel, Eſq. Barriſter
- Rev. Thomas Bumford
- Miſs Bell
- — Browne, Eſq.
- — Benſon, Eſq.
- Mrs. Briſcoe, Riverdale
- Maſter Briſcoe
- Ralph Babington, Eſq.
- — Brownrigg, Eſq.
- — Ball, Eſq.
- J. Batterſby
- Miſs Browne
- Miſs Bor
- John Brett, Eſq.
- Rev. Mr. Brocas
- Right Hon. Lord Biſhop of Clonſert
- Sir Malby Crofton, Bart.
- Lady Crofton
- Capt. Crofton
- Mrs. Crofton
- Rob. Cooke, Eſq. Cookeboro’
- Capt. Coldſtream, Northampton regt.
- Lieut. Cooke, do.
- — Cahill, Eſq.
- Dr. Collis, M.D.
- Mrs. Colclough
- John Comerford, Eſq.
- Henry Connor, Eſq.
- Joſeph Cooper, Eſq.
- Mrs. Campbell
- — Cullen, Eſq.
- — Crips, Eſq City Limerick regt.
- John Dames
- Mrs. Donnelly, Porterſtown
- Step. Dickſon, Eſq. 4 books
- Lieut. Devon, 68th regt.
- Rev. Joſiah D’Arcy
- Mrs. Digby
- James D’Arcy, Eſq.
- John D’Arcy, Eſq. Hyde-pk.
- Miſs M. D’Arcy
- Miſs H. D’Arcy, Bagatelle2 books.
- Lieut. Evans, Northampton regt.
- Mrs. Evatt
- R. Evatt, Eſq.
- Col. Farley
- Major Frazer, Frazer fenc.
- Rev. D. Falkner
- James Fetherſton, Eſq.
- John Fetherſton, Eſq.
- Mrs. Fetherſton
- Mrs. J. Fetherſton
- Miſs Fetherſton
- Miſs M. Fetherſton
- Miſs A. Fetherſton
- Miſs M. Fetherſton
- Maſter Fetherſton
- Lieut. Fulton, Northampton regt.
- John Foſter, Eſq.
- Wm. McFarland, Eſq.
- Mrs. Frazer
- Miſs Ferrar
- Joſeph Ferrar
- Rt. Hon. Earl of Granard
- Rt. Hon. Counteſs of Granard
- Sir Duke Giffard, Bart.
- Lady Giffard
- Duke Giffard, Eſq.
- Rev. Ponſonby Gouldſbury
- Admiral Greaves, Bath
- Mrs. Greaves, ditto
- Dr. Gaynor, M. D.
- Cornet Graham, Cambridge cavalry
- Dr. Geoghegan, M. D.
- G. Gibſon, Eſq.
- Mrs. Gibſon, 2 copies
- Hugh Gregg
- Stewart Holmes, Eſq. 2 bks
- Edw. Henderſon, Eſq. Sligo
- — Henly, Eſq.
- G. Holmes, Eſq.
- R. Hill, Eſq. Shrewſbury
- Mrs. Hill
- W. Harty, Eſq.
- James Hamilton, Eſq.
- Edw. Haughton, Colehill
- Mrs. Higgins
- Rich. Higginſon, Eſq.
- Miſs Higginſon
- Capt. Hay
- — Hunt, Eſq.
- Miſs Hunt
- Capt. Ironſide, 68th regt.
- Mrs. Johnſon
- Mrs. Johnſton
- James Johnſton, Eſq.
- — Jennings, Eſq.
- Col. King, M. P.Charleſtn.
- Mrs. King
- Major Kelly, Caſtle Kelly
- Miſs Kelly
- Rev. Thos. Knipe, 2 books
- Mrs. Keon
- Mrs. Keating
- His Grace the Duke of Leinſter
- Lady E. Lindſey
- Joſeph Labat, Eſq.
- John Lawler, Eſq.
- Sir Robert Lauder, Bart.
- Miſs Lyons, Lady’s-town
- Roſs Lewin, Eſq. City Limerick regt.
- Rt. Hon. Counteſs of Moira
- Hon. Mr. Mullins
- Hon. Mrs. Mullins
- Th. Moore, Eſq. Mid. Tem.
- Capt. Mills, Northampton regt.
- Lieut. M‘Guinneſs, do.
- Rev. Th. Mahon, Annaduff
- Mrs. Mahon, do.
- — May, Eſq.
- Luke Magrath, Eſq.
- — M‘Clone, Eſq.
- Edw. Major, Eſq. Ballyſhan.
- A. Major, Eſq.
- John Major, Eſq.
- Counſellor M‘Nally
- Mrs. M‘Nally
- Rev. Mr. Millar
- — M‘Cready, Eſq.
- Thos. Moore, Eſq.
- Mrs. Moore.
- Miſs. Moore
- Mrs. Mahon
- Capt. Nevin, Northampton regt.
- John Nolan, Eſq.
- Dr. Naghton, M. D.
- — Nugent, Eſq.
- Benj. Nugent, Eſq.
- Mrs. Nicholl
- Mr. Nicholl, 60th regt.
- Mrs. O’Beirne, Palace of Ardbrackan.
- Mrs. O’Beirne, Sligo
- — Ormſby, Eſq.
- Rev. Mr. O’Beirne
- Mrs. O’Beirne
- Corn. O’Brien, Eſq.
- — Oſborne, Eſq.
- Rev. Mr. Palmer
- Mrs. Palmer
- — Phillips, Eſq.
- W. H. Phibbs, Eſq. Sligo
- Mrs. Phibbs
- Mrs. Purdon, Curriſtown
- Mr. Rob. Purdon
- Mr. Purdon, Huntington
- Miſs Purdon
- Miſs Charlotte Purdon
- Miſs M. Purdon, Park
- Robert Purdon, Eſq. Derrymore
- Edw. Purdon, Eſq.
- — Perry, Eſq.
- Mrs. Perry
- Lieut. Perkins, Northamp—ton regt.
- — Pilſworth, Eſq.
- Sam. Pool, Eſq. Guſtavus 008 a5v 8
- Guſt. Rochfort, Eſq. M. P.
- Mrs. Reynell, Killynon
- — Rogers, Eſq.
- Miſs Ryan
- Miſs Roberts
- Mrs. Robinſon
- Rt. Hon. Lord Sunderlin
- Capt. Saurin
- Rev. Mr. Sterling
- — Scully, Eſq.
- Dr. Smith, M. D.
- Glaſcock Symes, Eſq.
- John Stanley, Eſq.
- Edw. Stanley, Eſq.
- Miſs Semple
- Miſs E. Semple
- Miſs H. Semple
- Mrs. Smith
- Mrs. Tuite, Sonnah
- Capt. Tiſdall
- — Thompſon, Eſq.
- — Thomas, Eſq.
- Wm. Tyrrell, Eſq. Grange
- Capt. Thompſon, 68th regt.
- T. Thorp, Eſq.
- Rob Terence, Eſq.
- Henry Terence, Eſq.
- Col. Urquhart
- Mrs. Urquhart
- Rev. H. Uſher, 3 books
- — Upton, Eſq.
- Miſs Upton
- John Verſchoyle, Eſq.
- Lieut. Whitmell, Northampton regt.
- Capt. Wilſon, do.
- — Warren, Eſq. 3 books
- James Warren, Eſq.
- W. Walſh, Eſq. Kilmore
- Geo. Webb, Eſq. Rathwire
- Mrs. Webb
- Miſs White, Sligo
- Lieut. Whitney, 68th regt.
- — Wood, Eſq.
- Thomas Wood, Eſq.
- — Wetherell, Eſq.
- — Wynne, Eſq.
- Miſs Wilmot
- Mrs. Wechinſe
- Mrs. Young.
- Miſs Young
Dear Lyre, I hail thee! for I owe thee much,
Melodious ſoother of my weary hours;
Obedient ever to thy mistress’ touch,
That wakes to ſympathy thy passive powers!
I come;—o’er thy elastic chords to fling
The essence of each floweret’s rich perfume;
And fondly twine around thee as I sing,
A wreath of fragrance, wove in fancy’s loom!
Oft as the star of eve unveil’d her light,
To bathe its glories in the lucid streams;
Or twilight ſunk upon the breast of night,
So oft thou’st wrapt me in elysian dreams!
Oft as the trembling moon-beam stoop’d to sip
The od’rous drops, of roſe-emboſom’d dew;
Or quaff’d the nectar of the lily’s lip,
So oft I’ve softly sung, and sigh’d to you!
Then o’er thy chords I pour’d a strain of woe,
O’er thy responsive lays enraptur’d hung;
Thy lays in melting sympthy would flow,
Thy chords give back the woes to thee I sung!
As true vibrative to the frolic lay,
To every careless touch of laughing pleasure,
As wildly playful, and as sweetly gay,
As madly sportive was thy jocund measure!
Still, still, responsive to thy mistress’ soul,
Thy trembling chords my trembling tones return’d;
Amidst my sighs thy sighing accents stole,
With pathos melted, or with fervor burn’d!
And tho’ Apollo’s beam ne’er warm’d thy strain,
Nor o’er thy chords love swept his purple wing,
Thou’st rapture raised to an extatic pain,
When genuine feeling only touch’d thy string!
Rais’d the quick throb within the sensate heart,
Awoke each dormant extacy of soul,
Seduc’d the sigh to heave,—the tear to start,
And o’er each finer nerve, her magic stole!
Oh, then to feeling’s touch be ſacred still,
Still may she steal vibrations from thy string;
Still to her witching powers sweetly thrill,
And o’er each sense her soft enchantment fling!
On My Birth-Day.
Another year!—so ſoon, so rapid fled,
Already mingled with the countleſs dead;
Nor left of all its joys, its griefs behind,
A single wreck within my dormant mind;
That mind; still treasuring in its record page,
Each heartfelt scene of my progressive age;
Since first th’internal chaos gradual ran
Its courſe to order;—Reason first began
T’assume her rights, and embryotic thought
Gleam’d on my ſoul;—its pains, its blisses brought.
My infant joys,—the slow unfolding sense,
The lively pleaſures of adolescence;
The gay ideas smiling Fancy brought,
Th’endearing ties my heart so fondly sought,The 013 b3r 13
The cheap, the guileless joys of youthful hours,
The strength’ning intellect’s expanding powers;
The doating glance of fond maternal eyes,
The soft endearments of life’s earliest ties;
The anxious warning, that ſo often glow’d
On thoſe dear lips, whence truth and fondness flow’d;
Thoſe lips that ne’er the ſtern command impos’d,
Those thrice dear lips;—for ever, ever clos’d!
The griefs with which my later life has teem’d,
The loss of golden hopes I fondly dream’d;
Of glitt’ring expectations pass’d away,
As sun-ting’d vapours of a ſummer day!
Each soul-impressing vision it preſerv’d,
Nor of life’s recent nothings one reserv’d;
Thus can I turn my mem’ry’s volume o’er,
Pages with retrospective glance explore;
Thus with rememb’rance view the travel’d maze,
But not the vista of my future days!
What sweet and sad extremes I’m doom’d to know,
From bliss extatic to corrosive woe;
Obscur’d, conceal’d, my future prospects lie,
Nor know I more, than that I’m born to die!Time 014 b3v 14
Time falsely partial, may my years prolong,
And fate spin out my life’s frail thread ſo long,
’Till even (the world’s burden and my own)
The longing, ling’ring love of life is flown;
Oh! never, never, may I live to know
The pangs that from protracted being flow;
To sadly watch each spirit lov’d depart,
To feel each fibre severing from my heart;
No longer to exist for those I love,
To weep the reſted web affection wove!
No more on ſome fond breast my head recline,
Nor feel the throbbing pulse beat true to mine;
Nor view the eager gaze of fond delight,
Baſk in thoſe eyes that bless’d my aching sight;
To feel each glowing passion melt away,
To feel each nobler faculty decay;
A void, a dreadful void, within to find,
And live the tomb of my expiring mind;
To watch imagination’s dying flame,
Shooting athwart its last, faint, livid gleam!
And view my fancy to my years a prey,
Pluming her drooping wing and flee away;To 015 b4r 15
To watch each beaming hope of smiling youth,
Dispell’d by cold experience, frigid truth:
While time triumphant, claims me all his own,
And my now sensate heart congeals to stone;
One sense alone he leaves (of all bereft)
The sense to feel how desolate I’m left;
To live unlov’d, neglected, and forlorn,
To die; and no kind friend that death to mourn!
Oh! never, never,—better far depart,
While glows each sense, and warmly beats my heart
With youth’s fond hopes, and ever golden dreams,
While visionary glory round me beams;
While fancy yet exerts her brightning power,
To gild the great, th’inevitable hour;
Borne on her wing, methinks I glorious soar,
And future worlds of heavenly bliss explore;
Bright prospects open of eternal day,
As from the earth I wing my rapid way;
Resign each anxious joy,—each anxious strife
Relinquish all,—and smile away my life!
Thus those who still retain’d the perfect mind,
The soul’s bright energy, the world resign’d;The 016 b4v 16
The beam of genius shone o’er Adrian’s death, The Emperor Adrian died repeating the celebrated Stanza to his ſoul, Animula, vagula, blandula, &c; &c; &c;
And wit still flutter’d with his fleeting breath:
Th’immortal Seneca by heaven inspir’d,
Wrote truths divine,—and as he wrote expir’d!
And Lucan losing life’s warm, vital tide,
Sung his Nec sicut vulnere From his Pharſalia and died!
Come idle urchin, treach’rous boy,
Thou dang’rous play-thing, tranſient joy:
Thy restless pinion hither bend,
Or on thy mother’s dove descend;
Or on a fragrant gale repose,
Freſh from the bosom of a roſe;
Or on a sun-beam hither hie,
Or bear thee on a balmy sigh!
To realize thy Proteus form,
Come, arm’d with all thy magic arts,
Thy quiver, arrows, bow and darts;
Come with thy legion of delusions,
Call up thy phalanx of illusions;Embody 018 b5v 18
Embody all thy arch conceptions,
Review thy cohort of deceptions;
Nay muſter all thy conqu’ring throng,
And come in charms ten thousand strong!
Then check thy ever flutt’ring wing,
Nor from idea let me sing,
But softly rest thee on my lyre,
And o’er its strains infuse thy fire;
Or perch thee on my fancy’s pinion,
Where,—viewing thee, celestial minion,
Deluder sweet, fair imposition,
I’ll analyze thy composition;
Expose thy hidden pangs and pains,
And loose thy victims from thy chains;
Shake not at me thy radiant locks,
Thy power my dauntless spirit mocks;
Aye! coax and threaten, smile and lower,
See how I brave such feeble power!
Nay, vain you point that murd’rous dart,
It barbless strikes against my heart;
Thy bow unbend, thy quiver rest,
Thou vainly aimest at my breast;These 019 b6r 19
These missiles trifles pri’thee part,
So now, have at thee, honest heart. Otway.
Thou heaven’s best gift or malediction,
Thou thing made up of contradiction,
Of beamy smiles, and chrystal tears,
Of certainties, and trembling fears,
Of vivid hopes, and anxious doubts,
Of sports and joys, and frowns, and pouts;
Of blisses fading into care,
And extacy—to dark despair;
Of confidence,—and green suspicion,
Of tyranny,—and sweet submission;
Of melting tones,—and murmuring ire,
Delicious strains,—and jealous fire;
Of mantling blushes,—humid eyes,
Impassion’d looks, and heart-breath’d sighs;
Of glowing, golden expectation,
And griefs, of fancy’s germination;
Of preſent joys,—and future woe,
Of chill disdain,—and genial glow;
Of scorn assumed,—and winning wiles,
Repulsive looks,—ſeducing smiles;woes 020 b6v 20
Woes, fears, and griefs,—bliss, hope and joy,
Compose thee, het’rogeneous boy!
Thou sometimes angel—sometimes devil,
Thou baleful,—yet enchanting evil,
We now reject thee,—now embrace,
Now thou’rt our pride,—and now disgrace;
Yet worſhip thee we muſt, ’tis said,
With all thy failings on thy head,
And even I! who mock thee most,
And still my scepticiſm boast;
Who sportive, break thy chains asunder,
And laugh at what the many wonder,
And think thy death-inflicting arrows,
Fit instruments to murder—sparrows;
I who have oft with daring hand,
Pluck’d from thine eye the artful band,
Expos’d the mischiefs it conceal’d,
And every venom’d glance reveal’d;
Thy pinions clip’d, and from their plumes,
Distill’d for dressing-box perfumes,
Thy feather’d shafts converted soon,
To pens,—thy follies to lampoon;Thy 021 b7r 21
Thy quiver from thy back displac’d,
As soon transform’d, a toy encased;
Even I, perhaps, approach the hour,
Which leads me victim to thy pow’r;
When no more sportive, no more free,
To boast my cherish’d liberty;
Nor laugh to scorn thy potent art,
When felt within my throbbing heart!
Yet long, oh long! defer the day,
And turn thine arms another way;
Thy siege defer, at least a while,
And march ’gainst those, who with a smile
Thy bondage meet,—and hug their chains,
And court thy pleasures and thy pains;
And when thy power thou dost impose,
Oh give thy joys,—but keep thy woes. This prayer has graciously been heard—illegible
Ah! timid, trembling thing, no more
Shalt thou beneath each rude breath sink,
Thy virgin attribute is o’er,
From e’vn the gentlest touch to shrink!
No more the zephyr’s balmy kiss,
Shall find thy chaste reluctance such,
Still shrinking from the fragrant bliss,
Still vibrating to every touch:
Proud of thy feeling power, the breast
Of Adila with rival pride
You sought,—and drooping there confest,
That feeling power surpass’d, and died!
There to thy keen sensations peace be given,
And there from earth remov’d, enjoy thy heaven!
Yes, I resign thee, witching lyre;
No more thy pathos or thy fire,
Shall wrap me in deluſive bliss,
Thy chords my flying fingers kiss;
No more to thy reſponſive string,
Her lyric lays thy mistress sing;
No more thy soft seducing strain,
Shall wake her joys, or sooth her pain!
And with thee, on the willow bough
The laurel rest, that wreath’d my brow;
Once dearer far, its sober green,
Than e’en thy myrtle, Paphian queen!Or 024 b8v 24
Or flow’r from thine Adonis ſprung, The Anemony which ſprung from the blood of Adonis.— vide Bion. Idyllium the firſt.—Ovid’s Met. 10.
Or thy immortal rose oft sung: The roſe has been celebrated by Anacreon, vide5th and 53d, in a fragment of Sappho’s; and by Auſonius, in his 14th Idyllium.—It is ſupposed to have ſprung from the tears which Venus ſhed on the death of Adonis.
Tho’ in an idle moment found,
Scatter’d o’er oft-trod classic ground!
Imagination, glowing maid!
Ah! let thy orient colours fade;
Thy magic tales to others tell,
And from my mind withdraw thy ſpell;
No more th’alchemic art unfold,
To turn the dross of life to gold;
Thy purple wing young fancy spread,
No more thy gay illusions shed;
Fling o’er my waking hours thy beam,
Or hover o’er the midnight dream;
Thy record page fond mem’ry close,
I’ll not retrace thy treasur’d woes;
Withdraw thy visions from my breast,
And give its wearied inmate rest!
Say, Muse, my idol and my care,
Wilt thou receive my final prayer?
Then take thy bright poetic ray,
That oft illum’d life’s cloudy day;
Take back the magic cup you gave,
Still ſparkling with th’aonian wave;
The ſtill delicious draught remove,
I will not ſing,—I cannot love! The ſacred Nine delight in cruel love, Tread in his ſteps, and all his ways approve. Bion. Idyllium, the 4th.
The laurel nor the myrtle wear,
Exempt from bliss, exempt from care.
Flow on ye peaceful, slumb’rous hours,
Indifference!—I hail thy powers;
And make me languiſhingly dull;
My recantative vow receive,
For thine all other creeds I leave!
Take this laſt sigh, this glowing tear,
This throbbing hope, this anxious fear;c Th’ 026 c1v 26
Th’ enthusiastic fervor steal,
The nerve to beat, the taste to feel;
The bashful doubt, the wish to please,
And give, oh give, thy convert ease;
Here snatch this painful sweet emotion.
This anguish’d charm’s at thy devotion,
It once was Love’s; th’Idalian boy,
Exchanged it with me for a toy;
He thought I’d wear it in my breast,
And for a trinket lose my rest;
I saw the urchin’s arch design,
Unused by me, the bauble’s thine!
And take my tablet and my quill,
Once dip’d in the Pierian rill;
A pilgrim bard the relic gave,
Now plunge it in oblivion’s wave!
Ah! now I breathe,—now, now, I’m free,
Come then, insensibility,
Come; with thy ſlow and even pace,
Thy heavy lids and pallid face;
Ne’er tinted with the ſudden flush,
Of rapture’s varying, vivid bluſh;With 027 c2r 27
With soul ne’er rapt in wond’ring trance,
With torpid look, and senseless glance;
With eyes ne’er bath’d in pity’s dew,
Nor mouth of smiles, and vermil hue!
Thy chilling vapour o’er me throw,
And weave thy pale rose round my brow;
And o’er my feelings draw thy veil,
And on my senses fix thy seal;
Cold goddess come, and bring with thee,
The drousy wight Inanity,
Who lists to Sloth’s lethargic lay,
And yawns his listless life away!
Then come, delicious Indolence!
And raise me ’bove the sense of sense; Shakeſpear.
Thy languid pow’rs around me ſhed,
Thy ermine mantle o’er me spread;
Inshroud me in thy downy veil,
Thy airy shackles o’er me steal;
Around thy poppy blossoms fling,
Then lay me near some murmuring spring,Where 028 c2v 28
Whose lazy stream shall slowly creep,
Inviting, yet preventing sleep;
Of some small, tepid, gurgling rill,
Light o’er my form let zephyrs play,
Then skreen each too-enlivening ray;
Around me weave a cypress gloom,
And add the silence of the tomb;
Save that the plaintive wood-dove’s note,
On some far distant gale may float,
Or dying on a zephyr near,
Juſt reach my inattentive ear!
Or buzzing song of hov’ring bee,
Or drone who hums right drowsily;
Nor let my lips imbibe the wave
In which the muses love to lave;
But thine own draught of magic power,
Distill’d from many an opiate flower;
Let each slow pulse confess thy sway,
Each frolic spirit die away;
And let my arm on mossy bed
Reclined, support my languid head;My 029 c3r 29
My feeble hand sustain a book,
In which, perchance, I ſometimes look;
But oftener dose, or fix the eye
And let no glowing gay delusions,
My slumbers cheer with fair illusions;
No dreams of active life bestow,
No lively pulse, no transient glow;
Nor in the page which meets my eye,
Let glitt’ring forc’d concetti lie;
No splendid metaphor or figure,
No far-fetch’d thought, or line of vigour,
No sweet impassion’d strain of fire,
Breath’d from the chords of Sappho’s lyre; Plutarch has compared Sappho to Cacus, the ſon of Vulcans who breathed only flame.
Nor Ovid’s, nor Tibullus’ lay,
Amidst whose verse the graces play;
Nor doric strain by Bion sung,
On whose lips soft persuasion hung;
Nor Moschus, thy bucolic lay,
Nor Alceaus elegantly gay;Nor 030 c3v 30
Nor thy sweet strain Theocrites,
Nor philosophic Socrates;
Severe in attic terseness drest;
Nor the harmonic supposition
Nor the astronomic lies
Of Aristotle’s chrystal skies;
Nor Euclid’s puzzling problem wrought
With force of calculating thought;
Nor ought the reasoning mind to wake,
Or thy bewitching thraldom break!
But give some heavy gloomy page,
The sombre work of Gothic age:
Some sleepy sermonizing lay
Of oft-told truths, some trite essay;
Some theologic disputation,
Some pond’rous tome, some dissertation;
O’er which the torpid senses pore,
Bewilder’d midst scholastic lore!031 c4r 31
Or give the work which fix’d thy fame
Immortal, as its author’s name!
The minstrel’s song who erſt did tell, Thompſon’s Caſtle of Indolence.
Thy wond’rous arts and magic spell;
Who felt thy soft, voluptuous power,
Infused o’er many a languid hour!
Come then, thou dear oblivious maid
And steal me to thy silent shade;
Let me life’s various volume close,
And in thy circling arms repose.
Come balmy sleep, thou transient, sweet relief,
Shed o’er my aching eyes thy soothing power;
And mingle with the silent tear of grief,
One drop extracted from thy opiate flower!
Shroud in thy downy and oblivious veil,
The woes that still defer thy gentle reign,
And o’er my wearied senses softly steal,
The welcome bondage of thy unfelt chain!
Wrap in forgetfulness my care-worn mind,
Give to oblivion my prophetic fears;
My mem’ry in thy magic thraldom bind,
Steal this sad sigh, and check these flowing tears.O come! 033 c5r 33
O come! and let imagination beam
O’er my soft slumbers her enchanting ray,
Shed her bright influence in some golden dream,
And hover round me with illusions gay!
Invoke the mimic Fancy to thy aid,
And all her frolic and aerial train,
With rosy viſions cheer thy votarist maid,
And with sweet treach’ry steal her bosom’s pain!
Each fond affection in my heart revive,
(By sorrow’s torpid touch long lull’d to rest;)
Once to each thrilling tone of joy alive,
But dormant now within my joyless breast!
Thus come delightful and delusive sleep,
Thus o’er my wither’d spirits claims thy power;
In thy sweet balm my anguish’d feelings ſteep,
For years of suff’rings grant one blissful hour!
Ah! careless wight, and e’en as careless, gay,
Slow winding down yon mountain’s rugged brow,
Cheering with ballad blithe thy weary way,
And as thy thoughtless mule, as thoughtless thou!
Regardless of the storm, or cheerless night,
No fear corrodes, no hope illumes thy breast;
Save church-yard goblin, or the cottage light,
That points thy wish’d-for home and wanted reſt!
Ne’er dreaming thou to many art a fate
Replete with baleful tidings; big with woe
To cloud th’ illusive beam of hope elate,
Or blast the germ of love’s first ardent blow!To 035 c6r 35
To snap the golden, fragile thread of bliss,
Deface the smiling portrait Fancy drew;
Convey the last farewell, the dying kiss,
And change each tint of joy to mis’ry’s hue!
To freeze the vital stream that warmly glows
Within the heart, to filial fears a prey;
The sad, but long expected task impose,
To weep the sainted parents swift decay!
Ah! orphan mourner, I can feel for thee,
For I, like thee, have cause to weep, to sigh;
Like thine, the parent heaven bestow’d on me,
Fled from her child, to claim her kindred sky!
Yet senseless wight, if thou the heart can’st wring,
And sadder certainty for sad doubt give;
Wealth, title, fame, ’tis also thine to bring,
And all for which the witless many live!
To the sad prisoner liberty convey,
To modest merit the unask’d reward;
To dark despair restore hope’s vivid day,
To act the herald of each tender thought
Of love—by lingering absence more refin’d;
With ſentiment impassion’d, glowing, fraught,
To all th’ endearing intercourse of mind!
When stillness breathes along the silent groves,
Save those soft sounds that sweetly break her reign;
The stream that o’er its pebbles dimpling roves,
The breeze that brushes o’er the dewy plain.
Oh then I love (when wand’ring o’er this scene
Of rural peace—or trembling on the note
Of high pois’d thruſh, his vesper song I ween,)
To hear thy horn’s wild tones on distance float!
Now stealing faintly with vibration soft,
Now mingling louder with each passing gale,
Now ’midst the hills by echo answer’d oft,
And louder now, it rings along the dale!
How throbs each pulse, with every varied sound,
How many ardent expectations burn,
How does my heart within my bosom bound?
And how I fly to meet, yet fear to learn?
Yes, ’tis for me—each character I kiss,
Then trembling, hoping, break the well-known ſeal,
But why relate its tale of woe or bliss,
For ah! like me, who woe or bliss can feel?
To a Smile.
Hail rosy joy’s ecstatic treasure,
Delightful harbinger of pleasure,
The being who still thee possesses,
Enjoys contentment’s fond caresses!
Sweet herald of an heart at ease,
By bliss engender’d—form’d to pleaſe,
Bright emanation of a mind
That’s sportive, happy, tender, kind!
I love to see thee oft dispense,
On coral lips thy influence,
Or stealing into down-cast eye,
Of brilliant black, with meaning sly;Exciting 039 c8r 39
Exciting dimples in the cheek
Of beauties who now conquest seek!
When ’midst thy train, delicious smile
Of little loves, and frolic fancies,
Dimpled graces, beamy glances;
When in thy panoply of charms,
And all thy irresistless arms,
Thou ſhed’st thy mighty spells around,
(Who in such spells would not be bound?)
Before thee flies the murky train
Of timid fears, and fancied pain;
Regards severe, down-cast, and sour,
Scowling looks and frowning lour,
Resentment with dark brow close knit,
Pale langour—flush’d hysteric fit,
And frantic anger’s fiery glance,
And envy’s look malign, aſkance;
And melancholy’s sad expression,
Imperious looks of high oppression,
All fly before thy cheering beam,
Like vapours from meridian gleam!Yet 040 c8v 40
Yet say, thou soft seductive smile,
Why aidest thou deceptive guile,
Why quit thine own ecstatic duty,
To grace the lips of scornful beauty?
Or change thy gay simplicity,
For supercilious levity;
Or why (delightful smile) attempt
To lend thy charm to cold contempt;
Unite with hypocritic phrases,
Mingle with parasitic praises;
Or why, veil’st thou with sweet deception,
The frauds of villainy’s conception,
Or thy seducing power employ
For him who smiles but to destroy?
On vice thy magic why bestow,
Or hide the pangs of gilded woe;
Oh why, thine own gay empire leave,
(Thou sweet apostate) to deceive?
Thou like to youth and beauty art,
Which simplest, surest touch the heart.
Come then, thy power alone employ,
For frolic mirth, or sportive joy,Or 041 d1r 41
Or from the lips of innocence,
Thy fascinations still dispense;
Dimpling checks of rosy hue,
Enlivening eyes of pensive blue;
Combining beauty, mirth, and joy,
Still please,—but please not to destroy!
Supposed to have been written by a young Frenchman, whose affections Mary Queen of Scots had engaged, and afterwards condemned to die!
—And in that glorious ſupposition think
He gains by death, who has such means to die.
Since thou hast seal’d my wretched doom,
Thy lips pronounced, we sever,
Nor add, farewell for ever.
Thy witching glance, thy beauteous lips,
Whose power I still obey;
That look’d, and smiled me into love,
Now smile my life away!
A thousand soft and rapturous deaths,
Have met me in thine eye,
Then welcome still, enchanting death,
Since still by love I die.
Sweet poison from each look I drank,
And felt the charming death;
Imbib’d it from each magic smile,
Inhal’d it with thy breath!
Thy victim still, I gladly die,
Of hopeless passion weary,
And still the heart you taught to throb,
Shall throb till death for Mary!
This beating pulse still own her power,
This wasted frame her sway,
This breath her potent voice arrest,
This soul her will obey!
Fond mem’ry still to her shall cling,
To her my last thought fly,
My last faint sigh ſhall seek her lips,
And in their fragrance die!
Oh! happy, trembling, dying sigh,
At fate I’d ne’er repine,
But gladly lose a thousand lives,
To die one death like thine!
Chloe and Cupid.
Chloe had heard of Cupid’s charms,
And long’d to lure him to her arms;
Vowing if Venus would consign him,
Her favorite monkey she’d resign him;
With parrots, dogs, birds, lovers part,
And all that now engaged her heart!
Smiling on the suppliant fair,
The goddess granted Chloe’s prayer;
Here, take the urchin, Venus said,
And gave him to the guileless maid;While 046 d3v 46
While Chlo’ receives the dangerous boy,
As some amusing harmless toy!
Now in her circling arms she prest him,
Now playful chid, and now caress’d him,
Now fondly vow’d she should adore him,
Now toys and trinkets spread before him,
Now gaily join’d his infant plays,
And hung upon his witching lays!
Thus pass’d with love her careless hours,
Till one day trifling with the flowers,
That grac’d her bosom’s snowy pride,
Her favourite started, sob’d and cried,—
What ails my boy? says frighted Chlo’,
Why wrings his hands, why sobs he so?
Oh! I am stung, for in your breast,
Of serpents sure there lies a nest,
Behold this finger, Cupid cries,
While tears ambrosial fill his eyes,
And then discover’d all his woes
Proceeded from a damask rose!
Nay, Chloe cries, pain must be borne
With patience;—see, ’tis but a thorn;“Why 047 d4r 47
Why would you then my flowers rifle,
I’d blush to weep for such a trifle!
Resentful Cupid quick replied,
Had you been stung so, you’d have cried;
But since compassion you disown,
Now judge my suff’rings by your own!
Then from his quiver snatch’d a dart,
And aiming, pierc’d poor Chloe’s heart!
As many charms that bosom wears,
So many thorns that bosom bears,
The hearts of all mankind to sting;
He smiling said, then plumed his wing;
While Venus of his archness proud,
Receiv’d the traitor in a cloud;
And from experience sad poor Chlo’,
Has learnt to feel for others woe!
To Olivia.To my Sister Lady Clerth We were then at school together.
Have I from childhood then, been writing,
And erst I well could write, inditing,
In scribling ever still delighting;
since first the muse
Did kindly string my infant lyre,
And o’er my mind poetic fire
as kind infuse;
Since first young fancy’s meteor beam,
Did on my dawning genius gleam,
And wrapt me in poetic dream;
as oft I strove
To sing, a sigh, a smile, a tear,
Or haply, an idea dear
of infant love!
What! and no lines to thee addrest,
Thou longest known, and loved the best;
In no frail garb of fiction drest,
not one to thee;
For whom I’ve oft wept, sigh’d, and smil’d,
My sister, mother, friend, and child,
thou all to me!
I who could never learn the art,
To write from the head and not from the heart,
And did my simple thoughts impart
in simpler gear;
And with poetic dereliction,
Took for my muse mine own affection,
for object dear!
Associate of my infant plays,
Companion of my happiest days,
With whom I ran youth’s frolic maze;
with whom I sungMy 050 d5v 50
My first untutor’d artless lay,
And on whose sportive accents gay,
I fondly hung!
Sweet friend too of my riper years,
Who kindly shares my hopes, my fears,
My joys, my sorrows, smiles, and tears,
my nights, my days;
With whom I share one heart, one mind,
My more than kin and more than kind, A little more than kin, and less than kind. Shakespeare
how sing thy praise?
For if the truth I must confess,
I better feel than can express,
Nor sentiment in fiction dress,
which I love most;
But that my tenderness of heart
Surpasses my poetic art,
I gladsome boast!
Still those gay visions fancy brought,
Were with thy lov’d idea fraught,
With you to live I fondly thought,
with you to die;
Nor e’en with life, to part with you,
For in my heavens, Utopia too,
I placed you high!
Ode to Health.
Nymph of the mountains! blooming maid,
Whose blush no midnight revels fade,
With sandal’d leg and bosom bare,
Dew pearls glitt’ring on thy hair!
Thy brow with Alpine myrtle crown’d,
Thy waist with laurel cestus bound;
Thy limbs elastic, scarce conceal’d,
Or with thy robe transparent veil’d,
And like the rose ’midst new-fall’n snow,
Thro’ thy aerial drap’ry glow!
Thy lips with honey wild imbued,
Thine eye with tear of rapture dew’d,Thy 053 d7r 53
Thy cheeks embrown’d, yet soft disclose
The blushes of the op’ning rose!
Enchanting health! best gift of heaven,
That e’er to bless mankind was given;
To thee, sweet nymph! what offering, say
What tribute shall thy votarist pay?
For ah! such bliss to thee I owe,
As wealth nor empire can bestow;
Even now, delightful nymph, you shed
Your blooming treasures o’er my head;
This smile is thine,—this laughing eye,
This cheek is tinted with thy dye;
These lips thy blushing honours wear,
And thine this happy careless air!
These rising spirits, gay, yet even,
By thee, delicious health! were given;
That point my hopes, and sooth my care,
And chase the gloomy fiend despair,
That smile away the frowns of life,
Exalt each bliss, and calm each strife!
With thee and them my circling years
Have swiftly flown;—while sorrow’s tears,On 054 d7v 54
On either side adown my cheek
You’d fondly dry; and bade me seek
In future hope and innocence;
And in the proudly conscious sense
Of guileless thought, and blameless mind,
A ſovereign, healing balm to find;
And then with soft endearing wiles,
Revived my blushes and my smiles:
Led by thy hand my feather’d hours,
Enwreathed with fancy’s blooming flowers,
Time’s progress check’d with frolic play,
And gaily trifled life away;
Revived the chaplet on my brow,
As yet unchill’d by age’s snow,
Awoke each anxious wish to please,
And hush’d thy song dull tyrant ease!
Oft have I known thee heavenly maid,
Ere night’s mists o’er th’ empyrean fade;
Or bright Aurora’s orient beam,
Sheds on the purple hill its gleam:
With step elastic lightly bound,
And scatter thick thy roses round;Dispel 055 d8r 55
Dispel the vapours of the morn,
To catch the early huntsman’s horn;
Breathe its rescucitating strain,
’Midst vocal hills, o’er verdant plain,
The voice of mountain echo wake,
And the soft twilight silence break!
Then seen thee brush from od’rous lawn,
The pearly tears of infant dawn;
Or sip the fountain’s nec’trous spray,
Untinted by the solar ray!
Then leave at noon the opening glade,
And seek the gloom of sombrous shade,
Whose interwoven foliage seems
Impervious to the torrid beams!
Or haste thy glowing limbs to lave
Beneath the undulating wave;
Or hie the gelid cave to grace,
The green surge dashing ’gainst its base;
While pendent from thy rocky bower,
Hangs many a sedge and sea-weed flower:
Then quit thy fresco, green retreat,
The purple evening’s ear to meet;To 056 d8v 56
To catch the soft departing ray,
On ridgy cliff of fading day,
While distant waves its glories drink,
In distant waves it seems to sink!
Then, goddesss of the blushing mien,
Descend, and seek the dewy green;
And pausing o’er the dying gale,
That fragrant steals from yonder vale,
Bearing the fife and tabor sound,
That leads thee to the fairy ground:
While the first star of evening hour,
Lends to the scene his beamy pow’r!
Then join contentment’s happy group,
The gayest of the frolic troop,
Led by thy hand Mirth lighter treads,
Love from his wings fresh odours sheds;
Reposing age renews his song,
And pausing labour joins the throng;
Till weary with the sportive play,
As twilight shadows flit away,
They cheery hie them home, whilst thou
Reposeth on the blue hills brow:Rest 057 e1r 57
Rest doth each active power steal,
Then o’er thee draws her cobweb veil,
Sleep o’er thy lids her opiate flings,
And golden dreams gay fancy brings!
To Miss Owenson,
On reading her Poem of Love’s Picture, by a gentleman.
And could’st thou, youthful songstress, prove
The pangs, the bliss that wait on love;
While from that careless air of thine,
Thou seem’st to worship at the shrine
Of chill indiff’rence;—yet so well
You paint the boy, that sure his spell
The urchin round thy hearth did steal;
We best express what most we feel.
In answer to the preceding.
Sure thou at least did never prove
“The pangs, the bliss that wait on love,”
Nor felt within thy throbbing heart,
The witching anguish of his dart;
Nor round thy brow his myrtle worn,
Nor pluck’d his rose of many a thorn;
Or, truſt me, thou would’st ne’er suppose,
That one who felt his pleasing woes,Whose 060 e2v 60
Whose heart confess’d his thrilling joy,
Could calmly sit and paint the boy.
Could analyse with judgment true,
Each charm, each imperfection too!
Could with a cold and critic eye,
This beauty point, this fault decry;
And with a cognoscenti air,
Or technic term, her thoughts declare,
Then careless add, now pr’ythee, mind me,
I’ll paint thee boy, just as I find thee;
Then seize the pencil,—steady, pray,
Your head a little more this way;
Aye;—there’s the contour of the face,
The winning glance, the childish grace,
How many ambush’d mischiefs lie
Beneath that artful, down-cast eye?
Those vermil lips, how full of guile,
What murder lurks beneath that smile?
Amidst these simple tresses fair,
How many varied ills repair?
These azure, downy wings, still sure
T’ expand when once thy prey’s secure;“Thy 061 e3r 61
Thy blushing form’s celestial glow,
Warm as th’ emotions you bestow,
That gazing on thee one supposes
Thou, like thy mother, fed’st on roses! It was ſaid of the Venus of Apelles, that her fleſh looked as if ſhe fed on roſes.
Now get thee gone;—thy portrait’s finish’d,
I’ve nothing added, nor diminish’d.
And could I thus dismiss the child,
Resist his looks, seducing, mild,
His soft, persuasive eloquence,
That sweetly steals upon the sense;
Could I, had love possessed my mind,
Thus faults and charms alternate find:
Ah no!—my eyes had then been dim,
Or nought but beauties seen in him;
Unfinish’d, then, the sketch I’d part,
To strain the model to my heart;
Thus to evince his magic skill,
Obey his royal master’s will, Apelles, at the deſire of Alexander the Great, drew the picture of Pancaſte, his miſtreſs; but becoming paſſionately attached to the original, during the performance of his taſk, he recieved her from the hands of his generous maſter.And 062 e3v 62
And paint the monarch’s fav’rite maid,
Apelles daringly essay’d,
Nor felt the dang’rous part he play’d!
But ah! too soon ensnared, amaz’d,
He faintly drew, but eager gaz’d;
While from each charm that met his view,
A thousand latent arrows flew,
Each beauty he attempts to trace,
But wounds him with some lurking grace!
In vain he’d seek her eyes, her lips,
Love revels there, here nectar sips;
Then wanders to her smiling air,
Still love intrusive wantons there;
Till thro’ each glance love slyly stole,
Beneath his art into his soul,
Confused and lost he vainly tried,
The pencil’s magic point to guide;
The living tint no longer glows,
Nor on the cavas life bestows;
The likeness baffled all his art,
But liv’d intense within his heart!And 063 e4r 63
And thus we read Pygmalion paid Pygmalion, the ſon of Cilix, who became enamoured of an ivory ſtatue of his own execution. See Ovid’s Met.
Love’s tribute to his iv’ry maid;
While, as beneath his chissel grew
Each charm, he gaz’d, and languish’d too;
To Venus then preferr’d a prayer,
To animate his lifeless fair;
His ardent prayer the goddess grants,
With life the beauteous statue pants!
But I, with many a critic stricture,
Have coldly finish’d off my picture,
As calm and as impartial too,
As if my good grand-sire I drew;
Nor has a single soft emotion
Betrayed me to the god’s devotion!
Nay more, to him and thee I vow,
E’en yet I scorn his twanging bow,
Nor has his keen and subtle dart,
E’en graz’d my cold and tranquil heart:
Ne’er did the imp my mind employ,
His spell my bosom’s peace destroy,Ne’er 064 e4v 64
Ne’er from his torch a spark I stole,
The muse and friendship fill my soul!
But with indiff’rence many an hour,
I’ve laughed at all his vaunted power;
And if he erst has been my theme,
’Twas but my fancy’s idle dream,
Not always what we write we feel,
For poets best in fiction deal!
Snowy gem of the earth, whose fair modest head,
Droops beneath the chill sigh of hoar winter’s cold breath;
Snowy gem of the earth, on thy pure sunless bed,
I carelessly, nearly, had crush’d thee to death.
And alas! I have torn thee, thou sweet snowy gem,
From the young kindred tendrils thou lov’st to entwine;
And have torn thee, alas! from thy fair parent stem,
To my still glowing bosom thy charms to consign.
From thy young kindred tendrils and fair parent stem;
In a clime to thy beauties more genial I’ll watch thee,
And revive all thy soft, drooping charms, snowy gem!
And instead of the sighs of the icicled hours,
I’ll breathe o’er thy beauties a sigh from my heart;
And its glow shall restore thee, thou sweetest of flowers,
And a warmth to thy icy-chill’d bosom impart!
And where the froze dew-drop once gem’d thy fair brow,
A true tear of the soul shall drop soft from mine eye:
And their mutual warmth give thy pale cheek a glow,
And thy charms shall expand to a tear and a sigh.
For alas! lovely flower, like thee I’ve been parted
From a fair kindred blossom, and dear parent stem;
And each nerve from the keen sighs of sorrow has smarted,
As the sharp sighs of winter chill’d thee, snowy gem;
But ah! no kind heart to its bosom e’er prest me,
Nor beam’d o’er my griefs a compassionate eye;
With care-soothing tenderness fondly carest me,
And repaid all my woes with a tear and a sigh!
On Receiving a Miniature Likeness of My Father.
Dear shade of him my heart holds more than dear,
Author of all that fond heart’s purest bliss;
Dear shade, I hail thee with a rapturous tear,
And welcome thee with many a tender kiss!
Beneath thy mimic tints, ah! let me find
Each often-gaz’d on feature, each lov’d trait;
Each emanation of the perfect mind,
Reflection’s frown, and fancy’s smiling ray!
This brow indeed is his; broad, candid, fair,
Where nature’s honest characters are wrote;
But o’er the beauteous transcript, morbid Care
And Time, of late, their ruthless fingers smote!
And this th’ expressive eye, whose glance I’ve woo’d,
(For ah! beneath that glance each task seem’d light;)
I’ve seen this eye with tears of fondness dew’d,
And through the lucid radiance beam more bright.
Seen it transfix’d with sweet, approving gaze,
On some faint strain the youthful muse inspir’d;
Seen it for hours pursue the pencil’s maze,
With parent pride, and partial fondness fir’d!
Soon it effuse enthusiasm’s beam,
While o’er the simple lays his girls respired;He 070 e7v 70
He fondly hung as in a raptur’d dream,
Charm’d by those powers his taste and care inspired!
But painter, far above thy wond’rous art
Were these dear lips;—dear lips where ever play’d
The smile benignant, where the honest heart
In undisguis’d effusions, careless strayed!
Dear lips where oft each fond endearment glow’d,
Less prompt to emanate reproof than praise;
Dear lips from whence the anxious counsel flow’d,
The moral precepts, or amusive lays.
These shoulders too I’ve climbed to steal a kiss,
These locks my infant hands have oft carest;
These arms I oft have fill’d, and shared the bliss,
For ah! with me, these arms a sister prest!
Twin objects of the tenderest father’s care,
A mother’s loss we rather knew than felt;
Twin objects still of every ardent prayer,
On whom each thought, each fear, each fond hope dwelt!
Come then, thou thrice dear shade, for ah! no more,
Thou true and lov’d resemblance will we part;
For till the last faint thrill of life is o’er,
Dear shade I’ll wear thee next my beating heart!
Which prevented the Author returning to School at the expiration of the Christmas Holydays.
I ne’er did hail thy orient red,
Sol, when thou leav’st thy eastern bed,
And o’er the world thy glories spread,
and radiant power,
As when thou’st earth-drawn vapours shed
in heavy shower!
And oft I upward cast mine eyes,
(Tho’ not I ween o’er weather-wise)
And gladsome view the frowning skies;
while screaming crow
Proclaims the storm as high he flies,
to us below!
Now glad I hear the wind blow bleak,
View puss by fire her station take,
And grandmama loud moanings make
of shooting corn;
For rain these signs portentous speak,
and gloomy morn!
Glad see I muddled streamlet stray,
Whose course no sun-beam renders gay,
Reflecting nought but wat’ry ray,
and dimpled o’er;
While goslings on its surface play
before the door!
The clear, pellucid drops I view,
As large they fall, tho’ yet but few,
And sweet as Californian dew California, in North America, where the dew falling on the roſe leaves, congeals and becomes ſweet as manna.
to me appear;f Or 074 f1v 74
Or stream that prophet Moses drew
From rocky source for murm’ring Jew,
in desart drear!
Now glad I throw straw bonnet by,
For sure to school I cannot hie,
While flood Deucalion pours the sky,
t’ arrest my feet;
And this excuse I’ll plead so sly,
To a Tear.
Rejecting dimple sleek, and smile,
Thee, beauteous gem, I sing the while;
to me more dear
Art thou, sweet herald of the mind
That’s tender, warmglowing, feeling, kind,
When pity’s claims the soul absorb,
I see thee gathering in the orb,
of visual ray;
Then thou to me art sweeter far,
Than dew-drop of the evening-star,
or opening day!
Or when thou steal’st down pallid cheek,
Of poor affliction, sad and meek,
Then like the glowing shower, mild,
That oft succeeds the storm wild,
thou dost appear!
Or in the eye of blooming youth;
For fancied woes, or mournful truth,
I see thee tremble;
The covenant which God displays,
Beaming with Heaven’s orient rays,
dost thou resemble.
Or stealing from the eye-lash shade,
Down faded cheek of love-sick maid,
who weeps her woes;
Like nature’s soft refreshing tears,
Which the pale, wither’d bosom wears,
of drooping rose!
Nor as I ween, art thou expressive
Alone of griefs, or woes oppressive,
but glitt’reth often
In the arch, sparkling eye of pleasure,
Adopting thee, thou pearly treasure,
its joys to soften!
In the belov’d parental eye,
With smiles of love I’ve seen thee vie,
Press’d to his heart for whom I live,
With thee the father oft would give
Dear trembling, wat’ry, speaking thing,
Thou drop from sympathy’s pure spring,
thou precious gem!
Ah! witless they who think them wise,
The softer feelings to despise,
and thee condemn!
He who the world with awe impress’d, Alexander the Great.
Receiv’d the soft, intrusive guest,
of friend bereft;
But still more glorious hast thou prov’d,
When for the friend he lost, yet lov’d,
e’en Jesus wept!
Nor can the Coromandel coast,
A jewel half so costly boast,
so priz’d by me:
Nor can Potosi’s mines unfold,
Tho’ rich in bliss bestowing gold,
a gem like thee!
Fair planet, that hath long illum’d my day,
And cheer’d my life with many an orient ray;
Celestial hope, thy soft, yet vivid light,
Hath oft dispersed the gloom of sorrow’s night;
Still thro’ chill disappointment’s vapour dark,
Still from thy distant beam I catch a spark,
Preserving it, lost in despair it fade,
As fire celestial once the vestal maid!
When lost in seas of sorrow, doubt, and fear,
Thou, my bright luminary, doth appear;
As to the mariner the polar star,
When first beheld in seas unknown, afar,
Thou art my cynosure,—by thee I sail,
And in life’s ocean brave each threat’ning gale!
There is a sweet and solemn hour,
And calmly soothing is its power,
To smile away grief’s gloomy low’r,
’tis then I rove;
It follows last the revel train,
That frolics round Time’s rapid wain,
this hour I love!
Then western clouds but faintly blush,
And sad, yet sweetly sings the thrush,
The faint breeze bends the stream-lov’d rush;
while many a ray
From the night’s silver-hooded queen,
Sipping the ambient wave is seen,
’tis then I stray.
Then the last gleam of fading light,
Streams on the turret’s mould’ring height,
With ivy green and moss bedight;
perhaps an home
To some pale victim of despair,
Who from the world finds shelter there,
’tis then I roam!
Then wearied village hinds retire,
And pausing Labour trims the fire,
And lisping infants hail their sire,
than whom none fonder,
Then the fond maid the meeting gives,
To him for whom alone she lives,
and then I wander!
’Tis the first witching hour of night,
When dapper elf and fairy sprite,
Dance by the glow-worm’s trembling light,
in field or grove;
When Oberon and his dwarfish queen,
Glide o’er the evening’s dew-deck’d green,
’tis then I rove.
Then hope on eagle pinion flies,
And mem’ry’s faded visions rise,
Of past delights, to cheer mine eyes,
delights long dead!
Each hour unting’d by care or strife,
Each frolic scene of early life,
for ever fled!
Then round my heart illusions gay,
With dreams of sweet enchantment play,
In fancy my affections stray,
and eager rove;
To catch a look, bask in the sight,
Or on the bosoms fondly light,
of those I love.
For since, by fate divided, I When I wrote this at Brashein Castle (Dartmouth). I was the first time thrown on the world—
From those in whom I live must fly,
And still for them heave many a sigh,
and drop a tear;
In dreams alone with them I dwell,
But waking love them, can I tell
ah! no, how dear?
Day cannot claim this charming hour,
Nor night subdue it to its power,
Nor beamy smiles nor gloomy low’r,
does it display;
But blandly soothing, sweetly wild,
Soft, silent, stilly, fragrant, mild,
it steals away!
From the Italian of Guarini.
Bright eyes! twin stars that rule my wayward fate,
Ye beauteous ministers of all my woe;
Bright eyes! in some kind warning glance relate
If death or life from your decree shall flow:
Oh quick, the cruel mercy then dispense,
Despair is bliss to lingering suspense!
On reading an Hymn to Life by Peter Pindar.
To thee, oh master of each comic power!
To thee, on whom life beams a sun-ting’d hour;
To whom its closing shades new pleasures bring,
And makes thee feel those joys thou lov’st to sing;
Well may life’s varied page to thee appear
But ah! no joys like thine my fate attend,
E’en now, ere nineteen circling summers shed,
Their glowing honours o’er my youthful head;
Wearied with conflicts, and with life opprest,
I fain would fly away and be at rest!
Yet tho’ without one real joy I live,
Ideal bliss the Muse and Fancy bring!
The Hawthorn Tree.
Thy virtues, Laurel, sing not I,
Symbol of immortality;
Nor yet Dan Pol’s wit-giving bays,
Oft eterniz’d in classic lays:
Was sacred to the blue-ey’d maid!
Nor fragrant Myrtle, which I ween,ween
Was priz’d by Paphia’s lovely queen;
Nor wat’ry Lotos, which we’re told, See fable of Dryope—Ovid’s Met. book 9
A beauteous maiden was of old!
Nor Agnus Caftus, Dian’s tree,
Emblem of pure virginity:Nor 087 f8r 87
Nor Royal Oak, the forest’s lord,
By Druid, Bard, or Brith ador’d;
Nor baleful Yew of magic power,
By Hecate cull’d at midnight hour:
Nor Willow, worn by love-sick youth,
Victim of constancy and truth!
A simpler theme is left for me,
To sing thy praises, Hawthorn tree!
Thee oft I’ve view’d when winter keen
Had rob’d thee of thy verdant green;
When all thy foliage, shrunk and faded,
Bestrew’d the earth that once they shaded;
Thy branching arms now naked left
Of leafy clothing quite bereft!
No more a canopy could form,
To shelter me from coming storm;
Nor screen me from the fervid ray,
Of warmth-bestowing god of day.
But now admitting each pale beam,
Which from his chariot hind-wheels gleam,
While in the bosom, lucid, clear,
Of a streamlet gliding near;Thy 088 f8v 88
Thy branches droop, and there remain,
Transfix’d by winter’s icy chain:
Whilst from thy boughs hang pendant, clear,
The frozen tears of winter drear;
And varied beams of rising day,
On the glittering frost-work play:
Now feel’st thou, vivifying Sun,
(His radiant course again begun,)
Young Spring restores thy latent powers,
Nourish’d by sun-ting’d April showers:
Luxuriantly thy branches spreading,
And leafy honours crown thy heading;
Thy crimson-tinted germs now,
Burst into blossoms on each bough!
Nor yet unprofitably gay,
These offsprings of the genial May,
For housewives (in their sweetness skill’d)
Preserve their essence when distill’d; The bloſſoms are remarkable for their flavour.
And high stand they in good dame’s favour,
For giving cordial nect’rous flavor!
But soon thy snowy glories fade,
By Sol’s too fervid heat decay’d;Deceitful 089 g1r 89
Deceitful hectic tints they wear, Before the bloſſom falls it turns roſe colour.
And die when loveliest they appear!
Now crimson haws our eyes delight,
Succeeding to thy blossoms white;
And bloom where they’ve admired been,
Emblem of life’s progressive scene!
And if in clusters they appear,
A piercing winter we may fear. Vide Lord Bacon’s Nat. Hiſt.
Full oft I ween thou’st truant made
Of schoolboy, who beneath thy shade
Ripe berries cull’d, nor fear’d disaster,
From the stern rod-wielding master;
Secure in well-wrought fib or tale,
(Tho’ oft’ times fib and story fail.)
But now in quick revolving year,
E’en glowing haws no more appear;
Autumnal tints thy leaves display,
The greens in yellow fade away;
While the brown’s deep mellow shade,
Thy varied-tinted leaves invade,
They fade, the chilling tyrant’s prey!
Ah! trembling vagrant, say why would’st thou
From thy guardian bosom rove,
Or say, soft fugitive, how could’st thou
Trait’rous to that bosom prove?
For when thou’rt heard, incautious rover,
As love’s true denizen thou’rt known;
And those fond secrets oft discover,
The timid heart would guard—its own!
Dan Cupid too with thee advances,
Commander of his motley troop;
Of downcast look, and timid glances,
And all Love’s witching, various group!
Of throbbing pulses, glowing blushes,
Smother’d groans, cross-threaded arms,
Trembling fears, and fond alarms!
Thou Love’s aerial vassal art too,
Then tell-tale from my lips away;
Steal back into my beating heart too,
Lest thou its confidence betray!
Written on the Author’s visiting the home of her childhood, after an absence of ighteeight years.Which home our old fashioned House in the old village of Drumundver I left for school at my mothers death wh. happened when I was 9 years old—
Ye golden hours which softly fled away,
Like aerial Gossamer on vernal breeze;
Rapid as thought, or bright electric flash,
Soothing as zephyr’s murmur mmidst the trees.
Bless’d halcyon hours beyond recov’ry fled,
Sportive to Time’s eternal goal ye danc’d,
Crown’d by the blooming wreaths which Fancy wove,
And led by Hope ye smiling advanc’d!
For ye Contentment cull’d her choicest sweets,
Fair Innocence illum’d ye with her beams;
Imagination each wish realiz’d,
And on life’s vista shed her orient gleams!
When o’er my senses steals the sweet, sad gloom,
The mingled thrill of pleasure and pain;
Nor can the gaiety of youthful mind,
The dark intrusion of felt cares restrain!
Then Fancy wanders thro’ remembrance paths,
Culls each sweet flower to scatter o’er the waste
Which grief has made, and seeks in mem’ry’s page
To lose the present ills in joy long past!
Then ye dear scenes, (perhaps devoid of charm,
Save what my fond ideas round ye twine,)
Where my first dawn of life so blissful gleam’d,
Then, then in memory only are you mine!
Ah! why ye scenes, has time’s sharp, ruthless fang
In eight short years such cruel havoc made,
Each fond memento of past bliss destroy’d,
Destroy’d each charm, and on each beauty prey’d!
I sought the hawthorn tree, beneath whose shade,
Full oft I pass’d my truant hours gay,
The spot where once it bloom’d I quickly found,
The tree itself had droop’d into decay!
I sought the cot, near my parental home,
Where oft I stole the warlock tale to hear,
To feast on oaten cake or new laid egg,
I found the place;—alas! no cot was there;
And you, ye treasur’d objects of my heart!
Dear, lov’d companions of my early days,
With whom I ran my life’s first frolic course,
Mingled my smiles, and sung my untaught lays!
Oft on a stream that wound its trickling way,
I well remember, near our lov’d abode,
We venutrous launch’d our barks of paper built,
Freighted with currants red, (delicious load,)
And as (true emblem of our careless days,
Gliding life’s stream) we eager bent our eyes,
On passing ship, for theirs who swiftest sail’d,
Claim’d both the fleet and fruit, a glorious prize!
Full various were our sports, yet not in sports
Alone, pass’d on the tenor of our days;
To romps succeeded oft th’ instructive page,
And even wisdom mingled with our plays!
And you my some-time brother, Thomas Dermody, a youth whoſe wonderful and precoſe talents were acknowledged and patronized by the firſt characters of rank and taſte in this kingdom. o’er whose birth
Genius presided! wit new strung his lyre;
The muse her future bard to slumbers sung,
And e’en his lisping numbers did inspire!Ormody has been found in circumstances of great destitution by my father & adopted by him—He
Thou form’d my infant taste, and from thy lips,
My mind imbib’d th’ enthusiastic glow;
The love of literature, which thro’ my life
Heighten’d each bliss, and soften’d every woe!
My sainted mother too, methinks I view
Thy endearing smile, my ever sweet reward;
For each unfolding talent ever gain’d
Thy fond approvings, and thy dear regard.
Even still methinks, soft vibrate in mine ear,
Thy well remember’d tones, and still I trace
In thy dear eyes, thy fond maternal love,
Catch thy last look, and feel thy last embrace.
The dying wish that hover’d o’er thy lips,
Thy last, last words, soft, trembling, broken, faint,
That my sad breaking heart receiv’d of thine,
And spoke the woman’s conquest o’er the saint!
Were these, dear child of all my tenderest care,
Transfer that duteous love to me you pay’d,
To thy dear sire;—live but for him, and died;—
Say blessed spirit, have I disobey’d?
Oft does my mem’ry sketch the social group,
At closing eve, that circled round the fire;
Sweet hour that fondly knits each human tie,
Unites the children, mother, friend, and sire!
Full oft the legendary tale went round,
Historic truth, or Car’lan’s heart-felt song; Carolan, the celebrated Iriſh bard.
For though but little understood, I ween
We lov’d the music of our native tongue!
And oft went round the puzling, forfeit game,
Play’d with nice art, and many a sportive jest;
Repeated oft—yet sure to win a laugh,
For those we longest know, we lov’d the best!
Dear happy group, and e’en as happy good,
Why guileless spirits from each other torn!
Why has the world unclasp’d thy social bond,
And left my heart its fond hopes wreck to mourn?
Thus calmly flows some pure, expansive stream,
Pellucid, clear, while o’er its surface plays
The soften’d shade of each o’er-drooping plant,
The moon’s pale beam, or sun’s meridian rays!
But lo! should earth’s convulsive struggles throw
Th’ impending rock in scatter’d masses o’er,
’Tis forc’d to disunite in sep’rat streams,
Dwindles to viewless rills, and ’s seen no more!
To Myself.written about the age of 16 — when my heart was breaking from my separation from my father & sister —
Ah! little maid, how blest the day,
When with the frolic hours, you gay
and careless rov’d
Thro’ life, from woe, from trouble free,
Nor thought you e’er could parted be,
from those you lov’d!
Thine was the blest propensity,
To make that world a heaven to thee,
in which you mov’d;
Nor knew the cause that made thee blest,
That joy’d thy heart and warm’d thy breast,
was those you lov’d!
Quick did thy lively pulses play,
As quickly flow’d thy spirits gay,
secure you rov’d;
No thought of ill did ever scare,
Thy happy heart devoid of care,
with those you lov’d!
No woe thy bosom did invade,
Save those thine own compassion made,
by pity mov’d;
You wept,—yet ne’er did sorrow know,
But taught to weep for other’s woe,
by those you lov’d!
And while the tears stood in thine eye,
Or on thy cheek would trembling lie,
it often prov’d;
That smiles irradiated thy face,
As in the eyes you’d rapture trace,
of those you lov’d.
The gloomy art thou ne’er did’st know,
Of conjuring up ideal woe,
but sportive rov’d;
Thro’ Fancy’s brightest, gayest scene,
For happy wer’t thou then I ween,
with those you lov’d!
Gay was thy prattle, gay thy smiles,
Thy infant sports, thy infant wiles,
By age or chill severity,
Nor frowns repelling e’re did see,
from those you lov’d!
Full many were thy childish ways,
To charm the dear parental gaze;
Was each faint effort of thy mind,
While to thy little failings, blind
were those you lov’d!
Ah! little maid, how blest the day,
When with the sportive hours, you gay
and careless rov’d
Thro’ life!—alas! that day is o’er,
Since little maid art thou no more
with those you lov’d!
One form enshrines two souls wee’re told, The Greeks univerſally believed in the immortality of the ſoul, and drew the above doctrine from the Egyptians. Thus we read in Homer: ―― Hercules behold,“A towering ſpectre of gigantic mold;“A ſhadowy form, for high in heaven’s abodes“Himſelf reſides, a god among the gods.Homer’s Odyssey.
By sage theologists of old;—
Such was the ancient Grecian creed,
(I only tell you as I read,)But 104 g8v 104
But when from life they wing their way,
And quit their tenement of clay;
The sweet and social union ends,
They kiss, shake hands, and part like friends;
The one a spirit pure, refin’d,
’Ycleped (as we learn) the mind,
Straight to the empyreum soars,
And each celestial sphere explores!
On nectar and ambrosia feasts,
Of heaven’s delicious viands tastes;
Revels with all the folk above,
Coquets with Juno,—drinks with Jove;
With Hermes argues,—hunts with Phæbe,
And quaffs the bowl prepared by Hebe;
Revives its old scholastic knowledge,
To shew miss Pallas ’twas at college;
Feigns on the melting tones t’ expire,
Of Apollo’s heavenly lyre!
Applauds his sonnets or abuses,
Romps with the Graces or the Muses,
Alternate, Mars and Vulcan teases,
By ogling Venus when it pleases;Joins 105 h1r 105
Joins in the urchin Cupid’s gambols,
Supports his quiver in his rambles;
Or sings his amatory lays,
Or with his godship’s marbles plays!
The other soul, a poor inferior,
And to the body scarce superior,
From whence it steers its flight below,
To Meſſrs. Eachus and Co. Eachus, Rhadamanthus, and Minos, the three infernal judges.
Its obulus to Charon paid, The Greeks always put an obolus (an attic coin, the 6th part of a drachme) between the lips of the deceaſed, to pay their hire to Charon, ferryman of hell, who conveyed them acroſs the Styx.
Led by some Cicerone shade;
At the dread tribune it appears,
Distracted ’midst its hopes and fears,
Friendless and trembling, lo! it stands,
To learn their verdict and commands;
Then to Tartarian horrors yields,
Or sports in gay Elysian fields!But h 106 h1v 106
But I, so little my ambition,
Will acquiesce with due submission,
That my superior soul shall fly,
To claim heaven’s immortality!
So may my minor spirit prove,
An heaven on earth with those I love!
To my Muse,
On making a vain effort to write on a given subject.
Iswear it by Parnassus mount,
By waters of Acidalus,
By sacred streams of Illysus;
By Helicon,—Castalian rill,
By Aganippe,—Pindus’ hill;
Apollo’s laurel, and his lyre,
Melpom’ne’s tears,—Thalia’s fire!
By wise Minerva’s sagest owl,
By Royal Juno’s sacred fowl;
By Cupid’s bow,—and brother Loves,
By Venus’ cestus,—and her doves;By 108 h2v 108
By cup of Ganymede and Hebe,
By brightest beam of silver Phœbe;
By Ida’s love-inspiring air,
Nay, by thy ingrate self I swear;
Ne’er from this moment to implore
Thy aid or inspiration more;
Nor sacrifice my youth’s short day,
In begging a poetic lay;
Or wit to scribble song or sonnet,
When I should trim a cap or bonnet:
Entreat a spark of attic fire,
To animate my languid lyre,
When I, as in my sex befitting,
Should take my work or mind my knitting!
For thee what have I not endur’d,
To scoffs, and taunts, and sneers inur’d;
By misses for thy favours maul’d,
By masters learned lady call’d!
By all avoided, lest my bite
Should set the simple things to write;
Whilst thou malignant more than they,
Hath some eccentric notion gayShot 109 h3r 109
Shot ’thwart my fancy—nay, I swear,
E’en in the sacred house of prayer,
I gladly seize it, thoughtless wight,
Forgot I came to pray, not write,
And in my prayer-book self indite!
While from my lips unconscious fall,
Nor sainted Peter, James, nor Paul;
But mount Parnassus, muses, fire,
Apollo, wit, Ionian choir;
Invoke no canonized maid,
But Yorick’s or Cervantes shade!
Quick shrinks each pious soul away,
While sacred horror and dismay,
Each eye devout as quick invade,
Cast on the sacriligious maid;
And tho’ she pray with might and main,
Alas! she finds contrition vain;
Nor credit gains from pious dame,
That you, sad Muse, not she’s to blame:
Nor is this all, for oft with spleen
Thou’st darted on me, when I’ve been
In solemn convocation seated
’Midst female sages, who grave treatedOn 110 h3v 110
On sermons, prudence, faith, and prayer,
Salves, conserves, silks, and china-ware!
Now flirting girls frail conduct chiding,
And now the price of lace deciding;
Now giving script’ral expositions,
Now quoting tradesmen’s impositions!
Now on blest charity declaim,
And now traduce a neighbour’s fame;
While as I solemn, prim, demure,
List’ with attention to be sure,
Pop come you with poetic freak,
And on my prim attention break;
Breathe fire thro’ the torpid creature,
And animate each cold, fix’d feature!
I start, look up, then seize a pen,
Write, smile, gaze round, and write again;
Then realize the golden thought,
And with enthusiasm fraught,
Will speak me favoured by the Nine!
With look ecstatic I exclaim,
And strike amaz’d each frigid dame;O’erwhelm’d 111 h4r 111
O’erwhelmed with fear and consternation,
Straight they convene a consultation;
Of grandmamas and spinster cousins,
Step-sisters, maiden aunts in dozens;
With broken sentence, nod, and leer,
Where more is meant than meets the ear;
In whispers they converse and shew it,
The poor thing’s mad, or worse, turn’d poet;
Then vow they’d pardon any crime,
In their own girls but love of rhyme,
Which should it epidemic prove,
Might well affect all those they love;
And spreading quick the cautioning rumour,
To exile from their presence doom her!
Yet all these evils I sustain’d,
Of persecution ne’er complain’d,
As long as thou wouldst kindly pay
A visit in a friendly way:
Tho’ sans regard to place or station,
Thou gavest a freakish visitation,
I gladly struck the willing lyre,
And blest the Muse that did inspire;Forgot 112 h4v 112
Forgot time, person, situation,
And felt alone thy inspiration;
To thee devoted without number;
Soft moments stole from midnight slumber!
From youthful sports and youthful joys,
From toilette, trinkets, dress, and toys;
Nay, the dear short-liv’d teens best treasure,
Their gay propensity to pleasure,
To thee I sacrificed, and yet
You all these services forget,
Reject my warm poetic prayer,
Disperse my sighs in empty air;
Reject my incense, and despise
The votive off’rings I devise!
On my best invocation frown,
Nor with success one effort crown:
Hence then, —I’ve sworn it from this hour,
No more to own thy sov’reign power;
With all thy attributes to part,
The phrenized glance, poetic start,
The pensive brow and flashing eye,
The look of thought, unconscious sigh;The 113 h5r 113
The smile enlivening haply brought,
By some rich new-awaken’d thought;
The sudden flush of animation,
Insignia of thy inspiration,
Forswear book, paper, ink and pen,
Until!—thou smil’st on me again!
To a Thrush,
That sung every evening under the Author’s window during a Summer’s residence in the country.
As oft beneath the foliage gay,
I see thee perch’d on trembling spray,
Chants thou to departing day,
or sing’st to me?
If so, I’ll tune a grateful lay,
sweet bird, to thee!
Thou last sweet songster of the grove,
Whose notes of melody can moveThe 115 h6r 115
The soul to softest melancholy,
Banishing all earth-born folly,
Sweetly sad thy song I find,
Harmonizing still my mind;
When the shades of evening hour,
On the face of nature lour,
Then thy soothing strain beginning,
The ear of mute attention winning;
Then thy warblings calm to rest
The griefs corroding in my breast:
O’er th’ enraptured senses stealing,
The wounds of mental anguish healing;
As at my window chanting near,
Thy liquid melody I hear,
And rapt’rous hang upon thy lay,
As perch’d on cloud-embosom’d spray!
Thee I see, or catch thy note,
That doth on zephyr’s pinion float,
Stealing on the lucid air,
Softly sweet, and shrilly clear;
Or dying in a cadence sweet,
Which Echo loveth to repeat,Lest 116 h6v 116
Lest thy lay, harmonious bird!
Should by no ear, save her’s, be heard,
Glad she takes th’ expiring strain,
Then gives to me thy notes again!
To my Wind.
Tell ever-fleeting wanderer, tell,
Ah! how shall I define thee?
Of every novel whim the prey,
What magic can confine thee?
Vainly thy airy flight I’d check,
Thou fluttering, wavering thing,
Bound all thy fond romantic views,
And clip thy sportive wing!
Vainly to thee does reason preach,
Or caution on thee lours;
You smile away their frowns, and list
Among the laughing hours!
Vainly each level rule I’ve tried,
Thee fickle thing to force,
In some direction, to some point,
Yet bizzare is thy course!
Now borne on Fancy’s airy wing,
Thro’ boundless realms you rove;
Now thro’ Imagination’s paths,
In wild delight you move!
And now the world attracts thy gaze,
You gazing, fonder grow,
And leave thy visionary bliss,
Content with bliss below.
And now for solitude and rest,
The noisy world resign;
While o’er thy spirit softly steals,
Religion’s flame divine!
Now joining folly’s motley group,
You mingle in her train;
Dancing her giddy, mazy round,
The vainest of the vain!
Now languishing for social charms,
For sympathetic mind;
Now to remain in peace unknown,
You life’s first blessing find!
Now harmony’s enchanting tones,
Thy enthusiasm fires;
Now painting,—now bewitching verse,
Alternate thee inspires!
What species I’ll declare thee,
Or to what object, changing still,
Shall I, frail thing, compare thee?
The moon, the ever-changing moon,
The wind’s quick fluctuation,
Life’s fickle changes, Fortune’s smiles,
The ocean’s undulation!
Nor aught on earth, in sea, or air,
Could like thee varying prove;
For ever changing, wandering still,
From all but those you love!
When shall I be at rest, say throbbing heart?
If thou can’st date the period of thy woe,
When shall I cease to play this tragic part,
Tell me thou beating mourner, dost thou know?
When shall thy long lost and thy much-lov’d Peace,
Around her votarist strew her olive flowers;
When shall thy little fears and troubles cease,
Or when shall Hope illume my cheerless hours?
When round my brow shall Joy his garland weave,
When shall ContentmemtContentment steal into my breast!
Remembrance of its treasur’d woes bereave,
And give thee, flutterer, thy long-lost rest?
Methinks the little oracle replies:—
Ah! should my response soon prophetic
I’d date the period of these tears, these sighs,
When Fate should give thee back to those
To an Idea.
Go, mind-created phantom go,
hence flutterer wander,
Lest of thee my bosom’s foe,
I still grow fonder!
Thou viewless soother, hence away,
I’ll ne’er believe thee;
For deck’d in fancy’s glowing ray,
thou’dst still deceive me.
Go thou, who each fond wish hath fed,
go fair deception,
By bright imagination bred,
and young conception!
Go trembling inmate of my breast,
thou sweet illusion;
Go pleasing, dang’rous, cherish’d guest,
thou lov’d delusion!
Go mental Proteus, that can start
into each form;
Thou knowest can captivate the heart,
or bosom warm:
Thou mind’s cameleon, wav’ring still,
The ray that beams each wish or will,
With varied hue!
Go busy, flutt’ring, hov’ring thing,
I’ll ne’er receive thee;
Why lurk’st thou near—tho’ on the wing?
away—and leave me!
Yet should I free thee, much I fear
thou’dst idly rove,
And thy course, arch betrayer, steer
to him you love!
Oh! rather from the danger fly,
the blissful guile;
And shun the soft deceptive eye,
and magic smile!
But should’st thou, flutt’ring near his heart,
but haply find,
Thy mistress still a cherish’d guest,
within his mind;
Oh! haste thee on thy airy wing,
the tidings bear;
Or keep thy station, faithful thing,
and guard her there!
On the Death of a Favourite Lap-dog.
Since then thy life’s poor play is o’er,
And thou can’st live to charm no more,
who charm’d so well;
Let me whose hours you oft beguiled,
Who at thy sportive ways oft smiled,
thy virtues tell!
Tho’ courted, follow’d, and admir’d,
Yet you no flatt’ring praise desired,
but lov’d to shun
The crowd, and chose an humble lot,
And chastely, unobtrusive, not
„unsought be won.
Thy sex’s faults to thee unknown,
To gadding nor to flirting prone,
thou ne’er wert seen;
With smiles invidious to disgrace,
The mild expression of thy face,
by envious spleen!
Nor with a foul, malicious tongue,
To do thy friend or neighbour wrong;
but ever ready
With all thy power to defend
Thy neighbour, or thy much lov’d friend,
with courage steady!
Possessed of many a wily charm,
The heart of sorrow to disarm,
you constant prov’d;
For seven long years with sportive play,
To chase dull thought and care away,
from those you lov’d!
Nor female like, did’st thou e’er pant
For dress, or shewy baubles want;
and did’st desire
But cleanliness devoid of art,
Pure emblem of thy purer heart,
thy best attire.
With brilliant eyes of jetty dye,
And teeth that did with ivory vie,
and skin of snow;
With loveliness of form blest,
Yet that those charms you e’er possest.
you ne’er did know!
Cosmetic aid you’d ne’er implore,
A faded charm to restore,
or age repel;
Yet may I say with friendly pride,
That charms were thine, and that you died,
and lived a Bell The dog’s name was Bell.
Due to Whim.
Hail! nymph of every novel grace,
Of airy step and varying pace;
With frolic smile, and meaning sly,
Beaming from thy roving eye!
With glance deriding wrinkled Care,
And sportive, comic, easy air;
Thy brow with many a feather crown’d,
In many a various climate found:
Thy robe of every rainbow hue,
As bright, as evanescent too;
Thy girdle by the Graces wove,
And breath’d on by the Queen of Love;Thy 130 i5v 130
Thy cheeks the lily now disclose,
Now emulate the glowing rose:
Mirth from thine eye now flings his ray,
And laughing Loves around thee play!
Now pallid languor softly sheds
Her pensive graces o’er thy lids:
Or gay, or grave, yet sure to please,
With novel air or playful ease;
Man, worshipping variety,
Finds all her magic charms in thee;
Before th’ enchantment of thine eye,
Dull beauty’s fair disciples fly:
Or own gay Whim’s superior sway,
And at her feet their trophies lay!
Come then delightful Proteus-maid,
And when youth’s first bright colours fade,
Supply the alter’d form and face,
With ever new attractive grace;
On me thy bizzare powers bestow,
Thy witching spell around me throw;
Breathe in the softly stealing sigh,
And revel in th’ expressive eye,And 131 i6r 131
And from the animated face,
Monotony’s chill torpor chase:
The stealing power of age disarm,
And ever changing,—ever charm.
Virg. Æneid 6. v. 31.
bird of summerday,
more genial wing my way;
And bid ye, sombre shades, farewel,
Shades where the pensive pleasures dwell:
Where Fancy leaves the sportive Muse,
And in her cell lone Quiet-wooes!Your 133 i7r 133
Your scenes of calm, unvaried ease,
No more the maid inert can please;
No more your luxury of charms,
Can lure me to seclusion’s arms;
For ah! your late so blooming boast,
Around in circling eddies tost,
Confess chill Winter’s iron sway,
And at his cold approach decay!
Aquarius rules the weeping sky,
And fading Autumn with a sigh,
Submits unto his joyless reign,
The sallow woods, and mist-clad plain!
Your leaf-strewn walks, now dusk and dun,
And pervious to the beam-shorn’d sun;
Shrill Echo round the north-east breeze,
That mourns among their leafless trees.
No more the mead its odour yields,
And verdure flies the wither’d fields;
Hoarse roar the red discoloured floods,
Responsive wave the lurid woods,
And thro’ December’s frozen tear,
Gleams the last radiance of the year!I leave 134 i7v 134
I leave ye, uncongenial shades,
Your leaf-stript groves, your cheerless glades,
To bear the shock of wintry strife,
And seek the social haunts of life:
No more to glance the raptured eye,
O’er Nature’s blooming Majesty,
Nor odorous breath of morn inhale,
Nor drink the spirit of the gale;
Nor steal the close-shrubb’d walks among,
To catch, lov’d thrush, thy varied song!
Nor watch th’ horizon’s fading glow,
Tinting the beamy lake below;
Nor view thy spire, Reconnel, beam Reconnel—a ruſtic church in the neighbourhood.
With the sun’s last-setting gleam;
Nor ’midst the various prospect scan
Thy pine-clad summit, Knocksheban Knockſheban and Sion-hill — prominent features in the ſcenery.Nor 135 i8r 135
Nor Sion hill, of sacred name,
Nor Tumuli of dubious fame; Tumuli—moats on high mounts, obſerved in moſt parts of the kingdom, are generally aſcribed to the Danes; they were probably raiſed for different purpoſes, and employed occaſionally as ſorts to retire to in time of danger, or for aſſemblies of people on public occaſions. Some may have been raiſed as memorials of battles fought, and others as monuments for diſtinguiſhed perſons ſlain in the field of battle.— Guthrie.
Nor up yon sloping hillock wind,
To view in aerial tints defined,
Knock Ine! thy wild and shrubby height, Knock-Ine—a pictureſque mountain in Weſtmeath, hanging over a beautiful lake, on the ſummit of which, on midſummer’s night, are ſtill celebrated ſome faint remains of the antient rite of ſacrificing at that ſeaſon to the Sun, to bring the fruit to perfection.
Illumed with evening’s fading light:
A focus to th’ expiring ray
Of Superstition’s gloomy day,
Where yet her last and ling’ring rite,
Flings its pale radiance o’er the night!Nor 136 i8v 136
Nor view (to clay-built hut opposed,)
In yonder woody knoll reposed,
De Lacy’s maſſy, time-proof tower, Caſtle Delvin, built by the Count de Lacy; probably the ſame who was ſlain by the native Iriſh in an attempt to erect an abbey (ſacred to the memory of Columb Kill) into a fortreſs.— SeSee Crawford’s Hiſt. of Ireland.
Memento of stern feudal power:
Nor seek the gay, expansive green,
Nor fondly loiter o’er the scene,
In which tradition’d story lives,
And there a moral interest gives!
Nor seek yon ruins mould’ring shed,
Where mingling glooms their horrors spread,
And leaning ’gainst its fractured walls,
Reflect how oft along its halls,
Did frolic Mirth’s peal gaily roll,
While softer on its echoes stole
Th’ inspired lay the minstrel sung, Carolan, the laſt itinerant bard of any note. He frequented the antient ſeat alluded to, and died in 17391739.
While rapture on his wild notes hung!Erin’s 137 k1r 137
Ierne’s last sweet bard, thine all the art
To harmonize the anguish’d heart,
The glowing mind to madness raise,
Or lull its fervor with thy lays:
To bade the tide of passion roll,
Or fire the patriotic soul;
As in full strains thou’dst proudly trace,
Before the flood Er’n’s royal race! The Bards, from the monkiſh hiſtory of their country, could carry up a ſucceſſion of brave and learned monarchs to the flood,
Or the Danes oppression sing,
And for her wrongs each bosom wring;
And in a slow and solemn strain,
Deplore her aged Victor slain:
With rapture dwell on Boru’s name, Brian Boru—defeated the Danes in the plains of Clontarf, but was ſlain in the action, 10141014.
And weep his fate, exalt his fame!Then k 138 k1v 138
Then o’er the chords a bold hand fling,
Hyniall’s glorious race to sing:
And to the harp’s responsive lays,
Linger o’er Ollamh Fodhla’s praise; Inſtructor of Ireland.
The Finnian band’s exploits rehearse,
In varying bold Pindaric verse,
While the attentive throng around,
Grew more than heroes at the sound,
Then steal into the lyric strain,
And sing of love’s enchanting pain;
The glowing lay each bosom warms,
And fires with Gracy Nugent’s charms The heroine of one of Carolan’s moſt beautiful and celebrated airs.
Or to the passions give relief,
Nor sing of love or warrior chief;
But tune the merry planxty lay,
And conjure up each spirit gay;Of 139 k2r 139
Of frolic mirth and social power,
To crown with joy the festive hour!
I bade ye, hallow’d walls, farewel
Where musing mem’ry loves to dwell,
And ’midst thy ruins chill and vast,
Revive the scenes of ages past!
No more shall now my steps intrude
Amidst thy dreary solitude;
And thou, my dear and lonely cell, A bower planned by the author, in which this little poem was compoſed.
From whence I bade these scenes farewell,
The hand that did thy honours raise,
Would fain perpetuate thy praise;
For well, dear cell, hast thou repaid
My labours with thy friendly shade;
Oft from th’ unmeaning crowd I’d fly,
From the fashion’s vapid circle hie,
And beneath thy umbrage sought
The luxury of pensive thought,
Or view’d the moon’s pale quivering ray,
Thro’ thy woodbine portal play,O 140 k2v 140
Or at the long expected hour,
Have flown to thee, dear conscious bower:
To catch (on some kind zephyr borne)
The welcome sound of post-boy’s horn!
Impatient thro’ thy foliage glance,
Impatient chid his slow advance;
Hear the dread No, to my demand,
Yet fix’d remain with out-stretch’d hand,
With beating heart and eager eyes,
’Till hope in disappointment dies:
Or haply snatch th’ expected bliss,
Print on each character a kiss;
Still on each tender sentence dwell,
While on each line a fond tear fell,
In which the fonder father prov’d,
How well his absent child was lov’d!
How true, how sweetly he could blend
In one, the sire, preceptor, friend.
Delightful, silent, sweet retreat,
Reflection, and the Muses’ seat;
In thee pure nature stood confest,
In thee, by no cold rule repress’d,The 141 k3r 141
The sigh would breathe, the tear would flow,
The pulse throb quick, the bosom glow:
And smiling Hope, by Fancy led,
Around her golden vistas spread;
Dispel’d the frown of gloom’d despair,
And sooth’d each present morbid care!
Alone dear bower from thee to part,
A soft regret can touch my heart.
But ah! thy fading honors tell,
’Tis time to bid e’en thee farewel;
Thy flaccid branches mournful wave,
A requiem o’er their offspring’s grave;
And even now I startle round ,
At thy dead leaves rustling sound!
Adieu then, frail, deciduous cell,
With kindred spirits now to dwell
I go, and leave thy calm repose,
For joys which mind alone bestows:
Revive the drooping wish to please,
Resign this cold and torpid ease,
From listless solitude I fly,
To meet the fond expecting eye;To 142 k3v 142
Melt in a parent’s warm embrace,
And in each fond endearment trace
The welcoming of the throbbing heart,
Soft murmuring no more we part.
As by thy paly lamp, dew-weeping Hesper,
I musing strayed with devious step and slow;
Or paused to catch thy vot’rist bird’s faint vesper,
A distant strain arose, soft, wild, and low.
Swelling full sweet, with every gale it blended,
And like a loud sigh breath’d o’er Eve’s sad gloom,
Such strains from Arion’s wave-borne lyre ascended,
Such Philomel pour’d o’er her Orpheus’ tomb.
And as it on the stilly air expired,
Its dying cadence woke each slumbering joy;
For ah! I ken’d that strain was then respired,
By thee, thou truant, long-lost minstrel boy.
Oh! cease not then thy song of magic power,
Each vision’d form of faded bliss to raise;
And in return my Fancy’s choicest flower
I’ll cull, to weave amidst thy wreath of bays!
Written on a Tomb among the Ruins of Sligo Abbey, September, 1799.
And must I, ghastly guest of this dark dwelling,
Pale, senseless tenant must I come to this;
And shall this heart congeal, now warmly swelling
To woe’s soft langour, rapture’s melting bliss!
And must this pulse that beats to joy’s gay measure,
Throbbing with bloomy health, this pulse lie
And must each sense alive to guileless pleasure,
Torpid resist the touch of transport’s thrill?
And must each sensate feeling too decay,
(Each feeling anguished by another’s sorrow,)
This from that blushes youth and health to-day,
Lie cold and senseless thus, like thee, to-morrow?
Terrific Death! to shun thy dreaded pow’r,
Who would not brave existence’ direst strife?
But that beyond thy dark shade’s gloomy low’r,
Faith points her vista to eternal life!
Will of the Wisp.
Gay, glitt’ring phantom of the night,
Delusive, mischief-loving sprite,
That danceth in the weary way,
Of nighted trav’ller led astray;
And by thy wand’rings doth mislead,
The assignation-giving maid!
Sometimes thou’rt seen to glimmer near
The ruins of an abbey drear;
Full visible to frighted eye,
Of trembling peasant stalking by;
Who scared, affrighted, homeward hies,
With looks aghast, and staring eyes!
The group around the evening fire,
The cause of look aghast enquire,
Nor with additions does he fail
To tell the dire, terrific tale!How 148 k6v 148
How passing abbey walls alone,He heard a loud sepulchral groan, And casting up a tim’rous eye, On mould’ring cloister, did espy A fiery phantom without a head,
He swears it as his name is Ned!
Christ save us, cries each pious dame,
Each pious wight repeats the same!
But ne’er in me, thou wandering fire,
Did’st thou a timid fear inspire;
Thy fugitive and vivid ray
Oft cheers, but ne’er misleads my way:
And well I love to see thy vapour,
In my lone path frisk and caper,
To view opposed thy glimmering light
To the first folding star of night!
Now dancing over marsh and stream
Now shedding on each bush thy beam,
Now o’er the sloping hillock gliding,
And now behind the hawthorn hiding:
While every fairy elf and sprite,
Enjoys thy visionary light;The 149 k7r 149
The blossoms leave where all the day,
From prying Sol they perdue lay;
And with the laughing, sportive hours,
Creep from beneath their shelt’ring flowers;
And by thy tiny beam of light,
Full gaily trip it all the night;
Following thee o’er brake and briar,
Moorland, heath, and pool, and mire;
With frolic sport and jocund glee,
Dancing I ween right merrily!
First the subaltern, dwarfish tribe,
With many a fairy jest and gibe,
Lead gaily on the revel troop,
Followed by a courtly group;
(For e’en these little fairy elves,
Look to precedence like ourselves!)
The lord high chancellor comes then,
Well known by name to mortal men,
As Robin Goodfellow,—a wight
Of cunning parts and genius bright!
Then Puck, the Momus of the court,
Who deals in wholesale mirth and sport!And 150 k7v 150
And last, light tripping it are seen,
Great Oberon, and Mab his queen,
Surrounded by a courtly crew,
That scarce brush off the morning dew
From the unbending flow’ret sweet,
That seldom shrinks beneath their feet;
And as the sportive group advances,
The merry Will before them dances:
Till at the dawn of waking day,
They to their coverts steal away;
In buds and opening germs creep,
And dream their gambols o’er in sleep:
While the first beam of the orient light,
Detects the vapours of the night,
And beadle-like binds them in chains,
From mountains tops and marshy plains:
Poor Will a pris’ner too is sent,
All day in sad endurance pent!
Till Sol resigns his mighty reign,
Then hies he to his rounds again!
On reading the following lines— Joy’s a fixed ſtate—a tenure, not a ſtart. Dr. Young.
Joy a fix’d state—a tenure, not a start—
Whence came the cold idea, moral sage?
Sure joy ne’er play’d upon thy grief-chill’d heart,
Nor flash’d its beam upon thy life’s sad page!
Or thou had’st felt it but a very start
Of ecstacy, —not permanent, tho’ sweet,
Expiring on the bliss it can impart,
With felt delights, tho’ undefin’d, replete.
But I have known thee, Joy! in that dear hour,
Which gave me to a father’s circling arms,
(Arms long unfill’d by me) and felt thy pow’r
Dispel the pang of absence’ fond alarms!
And I have felt thy soul-delighting beam,
Illume the vision tender fancy brought;
Have felt thee in the kind of deceptive dream,
That gave my heart the long-lost bliss it sought!
Too transient joy! ecstatic passion, why
So little permanent thy lively bliss,
Expiring in a fear, a frown, a sigh,
Awaken’d by a glance, a smile, a kiss!
Sweet, yet illusive, are thy fragile pleasures,
Unfix’d and wavering thy precarious state;
Bright, yet impalpable, thy golden treaures,
Dear, tho’ short-liv’d, th’ emotions you create!
Fleet, yet enchanting, is thy witching hour,
Delight’s wild throb, and rapture’s tear are thine!
While the keen feelings, vanquish’d by thy pow’r,
The poignant bliss they can’t support, resign!
Oh! come then, charming Joy, ’ere yet the chill
Of age repels thy influence o’er my heart;
While yet each sense responsive meets thy thrill,
Oh come delicious joy, all transient as thou art!
Elegy On the Death of Capt. ――E. L. Late of the 6th Regt. of Foot.
Departed spirit of my honor’d friend!
Around whose tomb the weeping Virtues bend,
While haggard Misery aloud thy worth
Proclaims, —who rais’d her offspring from the earth;
Who bade the sickly cheek health’s blushes wear;
Who gave the smile of hope to dark despair!
While charity reclines upon thy urn,
And sportive joys their social favourite mourn;While 155 l2r 155
While Fancy strews upon thy hallow’d grave,
The wreaths which once with thee lov’d to
And thy lov’d Muses press around thy tomb,
And mingle laurel with the cypress gloom!
Then well may I, in no chill fancied lays,
Who knew they worth, —attempt to sing thy praise
O’er thy cold tomb; this last faint tribute shed,
Who lov’d thy virtues, living,—mourn them, dead!
Oh! could my numbers like thy verses flow,
Melt with thy softness, with thy fervor glow,
Charm with thy ease, and with thy force impress,
Could I my feelings with thy wit express,—
Could I like thee my loss, my sorrow tell,
And sing thee, E—, as thou hast sung thy S—ll! Captain E— celebrated the virtues of Capt. S—ll, (A.D.C. to his R. H. Prince William of Glouceſter) and his own regret for his loſs, in a monody that did equal honor to his head and heart.
O’er time triumphant, I’d enrol thy name
In the best records of eternal fame!Nor 156 l2v 156
Nor should obscurity enshroud thy doom,
Nor dark oblivion hover o’er thy tomb;
But tenderness with energy should blend,
T’ immortalize the hero, mourn the friend;
The sage, the soldier, poet, scholar sing,
Who serv’d the muse, mankind, his country, king!
Then fondly I would seek thy hallow’d grave,
To weep the immortality I gave;
Each opposite perfection sure was thine,
The tender soul endued with strength divine,
The temper meek, tho’ firm,—tho’ gay, yet even,
That opened in thy heart an earthly heaven!
The genius form’d to charm and teach mankind,
The polish’d manners, candid, tho’ refin’d,—
The native, attic elegance of thought,
With playful ease and forceful feeling fraught!
The art to penetrate, the heart to trust,—
Gentle, tho’ stabile,—generous, tho’ just;
The dauntless courage danger ne’er dismay’d,
That still to suffering weakness lent its aid;
Feelings benevolent,—the nervous mind
The foe of vice, the friend of human kind,
The brave, good, learned, elegant, combin’d!Come 157 l3r 157
Come let me snatch the long neglected lyre,
No Muse, but Virtue shall its strains inspire.
But hark! no full vibration strikes mine ear,
Worthy the noble theme no strains I hear;
Alone, responsive to my mourning sighs,
The lyre its soul-subduing sounds supplies;
Relax’d the chords o’er which my tears o’erflow,
Returning only elegies of woe!
- Page 17, Line 9, for impuls, read impulse,
- ―― 25, ―― 13, for full, read lull.
- ―― 28, ―― 3, for hill read sill.
- ―― 29, ―― 4 , for half-dosing, read half-closing.
- ―― 30, ―― 3, for sub, read tub.
- ―― 30, Note, ―― for reſtrained, read retained.
- ―― 36, ―― 4, for reward, read award.
- ―― 39, ―― 3, for will, read wile.
- ―― 42, ―― 3, for thou, read thoſe.
- ―― 59, in Motto, for hmourous, read humourous.
- ―― 66, ―― I, for ſnowy, read sunless.
- ―― 85, ―― 6 for page, read leaf.
- ―― 8, for and friend, read, and tender friend.
- ―― 86, for Nor Olive by the ancients, &c; read, Nor Minerva’s olive flower, Sacred to wisdom’s heavenly power.
- ―― 89 ―― 21, for ence, read once.
- ―― 91, ―― 3, for paley, read paly.
- ―― 103, ―― I, for wee’re, read we’re.
- ―― 107, ―― 2, for imposing, read inspiring.
- ―― 110, ―― 19, for To Triumphe, read Io Triumphe.
- ―― 119, ―― 13, for flatterer, read flutterer.