The Domestic Affections and Other Poems
by Felicia Dorothea Browne Hemans
"THE MEMORY OF
JOYS THAT ARE
SONNET TO ITALY.
THE LAPLANDER TO
TO THE HEAD-ACH
WAR-SONG OF THE
TO MY YOUNGER
TO MY MOTHER.
THE ANGEL OF THE
THE RUIN AND ITS
WAR AND PEACE—A
THE WREATH OF
THE STATUE OF
THE CALL OF
TO MY ELDEST
ODE TO CHEERFULNESS.
LOVELY nymph ! with eye serene,
Dimpled smile and frolic mien;
Come, with airy step advancing,
Come, with blooming Hebe dancing;
O'er the meads I see thee straying—
Youth and sport around thee playing—
Gay content, thy sister fair,
Twines a garland round thy hair.
Thine the lip of roseate dye;
Thine the pleasure-sparkling eye;
Thine the cheek that softly glows,
Brighter than the blushing rose !
Guide me to thy fav'rite bow'rs,
To deck thy rural shrine with flow'rs.
In thy lowly, sylvan cell,
Peace and virtue love to dwell;
Ever let me own thy sway,
Still to thee my tribute pay.
When Zephyr waves his balmy wing,
To kiss the sweets of May;
When the soft melodies of spring
Resound from ev'ry spray;
With thee, sweet maid ! I'll rove along,
And tread the morning dews;
To hear the wood-lark's early song,
To court the laughing muse.
With thee I'll rove, when summer pours
Her treasures o'er the land;
When fair Pomona sheds her stores,
With kind, luxuriant hand;—
When Autumn, bearing golden sheaves,
Delights the happy swain;
And softly paints the fading leaves,
And crowns the fertile plain.
And e'en in winter's hoary reign
I'll wake my festive lays;
Thy look shall prompt th' enliv'ning strain,
And "brighten at the blaze!"
I court thee in the vernal hours
Of life's enchanting morn;
Thy hand shall strew my path with flow'rs
And steal away the thorn:
But when the dawn of youth is fled,
The spring of life so fair;
Ah ! wilt thou then benignly shed
Thy placid beams around my head,
And steal my thoughts from care ?
Yes ! gentle pow'r, thy heav'nly ray
Shall cheer my morning bright;
And e'en in life's declining day,
Shall gild the dark and thorny way,
With mild, celestial light !
LET others love the pearly tear,
The blushing cheek adorning;
And say, 'tis like the dew-drop clear,
That gems the rose of morning.
Let others love to see the fair
With pensive mien appearing;
Be mine, to hail the sprightly air,
The dimpled smile endearing.
It speaks good-humour's mild control,
With magic fascination;
It tells the feelings of the soul,
With sportive animation.
Superior to the brightest eyes,
Or cheek with roses blooming;
A winning charm it still supplies,
The lovely face illuming.
'Twas Hebe taught fair beauty's queen,
The gay, bewitching wile;
And still her glowing lips are seen,
To wear a playful smile.
COME, gentle muse ! now all is calm,
The dew descends, the air is balm;
Unruffled is the glassy deep,
While moon-beams o'er its bosom sleep;
The gale of summer mildly blows,
The wave in soothing murmur flows;
Unclouded Vesper shines on high,
And ev'ry flow'r has clos'd its tearful eye.
Oh ! at this hour, this placid hour,
Soft music, wake thy magic pow'r !
Be mine to hear thy dulcet measure,
Thy warbling strains, that whisper, pleasure;
Thy heavenly airs, of cadence dying,
And harp to every zephyr sighing;
When roving by the shadowy beam,
That gilds the fairy-bow'r and woodland-stream !
But all is still! no mellow sound
Floats on the breeze of night around ;
Yet fancy, with some airy spell,
Can wake "sweet Echo" from her cell;
Can charm her pensive votary's ear,
With plaintive numbers melting near;
And bid celestial spirits rise,
To pour their wild, enchanted melodies.
I love the rosy dawn of day,
When Zephyr wakes the laughing May;
I love the summer-evening's close,
That lulls the mind in calm repose;
But sweeter far the hour serene,
When softer colours paint the scene;
When Vesper sheds a dewy ray,
And o'er the sleeping wave the moon-beams play.
ADDRESS TO MUSIC.
OH thou ! whose soft, bewitching lyre,
Can lull the sting of pain to rest;
Oh thou ! whose warbling notes inspire,
The pensive muse with visions blest;
Sweet music ! let thy melting airs
Enhance my joys, and sooth my cares !
Is there enchantment in thy voice,
Thy dulcet harp, thy moving measure;
To bid the mournful mind rejoice,
To raise the fairy form of pleasure ?
Yes, heav'nly maid ! a charm is thine,
A magic art, a spell divine !
Sweet music ! when thy notes we hear,
Some dear remembrance oft they bring,
Of friends belov'd, no longer near,
And days that flew on rapture's wing;
Hours of delight that long are past,
And dreams of joy, too bright to last !
And oft 'tis thine the soul to fire,
With glory's animating flame,
Bid valor's noble sons aspire
To win th' immortal wreath of fame
Thine too, the soft, expressive tones,
That pity, tender pity owns !
Oh harmony ! celestial pow'r !
Thou syren of the melting soul!
In sorrow's reign, in pleasure's hour,
My heart shall own thy blest control;
And ever let thy moving airs,
Enhance my joys and sooth my cares !
"THE MEMORY OF JOYS THAT ARE PAST."
THERE is an hour, a pensive hour;
"And oh ! how dear its soothing pow'r !"
It is, when twilight spreads her veil,
And steals along the silent dale;
'Tis when the fading blossoms close,
When all is silence and repose;
Then memory wakes, and loves to mourn,
For days—that never shall return !
There is a strain, a plaintive strain,
The source of joy and yet of pain;
It is the song, whose dying measure,
Some friend belov'd has heard with pleasure;
Some friend—who ne'er again may hear,
The melting lay, to memory dear;
Ah ! then, her magic spells restore,
Visions of blissful days no more !
There is a tear of sweet relief,
A tear—of rapture and of grief;
The feeling heart alone can know
What soft emotions bid it flow !
It is when memory charms the mind,
With tender images refin'd;
'Tis when her balmy spells restore,
Departed friends, and joys no more !
FAREWELL, ah, happy shades ! ah, scenes belov'd,
Of infant sports and bright unclouded hours !
Where oft in childhood's happy days I rov'd,
Thro' forest-walks, and wild secluded bow'rs !
Far from your woods, and sweet romantic glades,
A wand'ring emigrant I'm doom'd to roam,
Yet oft will memory, ling'ring in your shades,
Recal the dear, regretted charms of home !
Her magic pencil oft shall fondly trace
The mournful pictures of departed joy;
To ev'ry image give a pensive grace,
Which time may soften—but can ne'er destroy.
Ah ! scenes belov'd ! again delightful spring
In vernal beauty decks your smiling vales;
With balmy odour scents the zephyr's wing,
And wafts from heav'n the soft Favonian gales.
With transport once, to hail her blest return,
I tun'd my artless reed, my numbers wild,
Then all was new in life's bewitching morn,
And hope—ah, fair enchantress ! gaily smil'd.
Oh ! then, what airy visions of delight,
Beguil'd my youthful heart in ev'ry grove;
Deluding fancy pictur'd to my sight
The fairy-land of happiness and love !
But now, for me in vain the flow'rs expand,
And leaves unfolding, dress the woods anew;
I go, a wanderer, to some distant land,
And bid my native hills—a last adieu !
Farewell the hermit-cell, the lov'd retreat,
The cottage mantled o'er with clustering vine;
Where mild content had found a tranquil seat,
And peace and calm domestic joys were mine.
Dear, lovely scenes ! how oft, at dawn of day,
My pipe has wak'd your mountain-echoes sound;
How oft at evening's hour I lov'd to stray,
Beside the river's bank, with osiers crown'd.
Ye woodland-streams, ye peaceful, happy shades,
Oft on your charms will pensive memory dwell;
Ah, native vales ! ah, sweet embow'ring glades,
Scenes of my early youth !—a last farewell !
FOR MY MOTHER'S BIRTH-DAY.
AT thy approach, oh, sweet bewitching May !
Through ev'ry wood soft melodies resound;
On silken wings Favonian breezes play,
And scatter bloom and fragrance all around !
Yet not for these I hail thy gentle reign,
And rove enchanted through thy fairy bow'rs;
Not for thy warbled songs, thy zephyr-train,
Nor all the incense of thy glowing flow'rs.
For this to thee I pour the artless lay,
Oh, lovely May ! thou goddess of the grove !
With thee returns the smiling natal day,
Of her, who claims my fond, my filial love !
Bright as thy sun-beams may it still appear,
Calm as thy skies, unclouded with a tear !
ADDRESS TO FANCY.
OH, queen of dreams ! 'tis now the hour,
Thy fav'rite hour of silence and of sleep;
Come, bring thy wand, whose magic pow'r,
Can wake the troubled spirits of the deep !
And while around, on ev'ry eye
The "honey-dews of slumber" lie,
Oh ! guide me to the wild retreat,
Where fays in nightly revel meet;
And gaily sport in mystic ring,
By lonely glen, or haunted spring !
Now ev'ry sound has died away,
The winds and waves are lull'd to rest;
The sighing breeze forgets to play,
And moon-beams tremble o'er the ocean's breast—
Come, Fancy ! come, creative pow'r !
That lov'st the tranquil reign of night:
Perhaps in such a silent hour,
Thy visions charm'd the bard of Avon's sight;
Oh, poet blest ! thy guiding hand
Led him thro' scenes of fairy-land;
To him, thy favor'd child, alone,
Thy bright, Elysian worlds were shown !
Come, Fancy, come; with lov'd control,
Bewitch thy votary's pensive soul !
Come, sportive charmer ! lovely maid !
In rainbow-colored vest array'd;
Invoke thy visionary train,
The subjects of thy gentle reign.
If e'er ethereal spirits meet,
On earth; to pour their dirges sweet;
Now might they hover on the moon-beam pale,
And breathe celestial music on the gale.
And hark ! from yonder distant dell,
I hear angelic numbers swell !
Ah ! sure some airy sylph is nigh,
To wake such heav'nly melody !
Now soft the dulcet notes decay,
Float on the breeze and melt away;
Again they fall—again they rise,
Ah ! now the soft enchantment dies !
The charm is o'er—the spell is past,
The witching spell, too sweet to last !
Hail, Fancy, hail ! around thy hallow'd shrine,
What sylphid bands, what radiant forms appear !
Ah ! bless thy votary with thy dreams divine,
Ah ! wave thy wand, and call thy visions dear !
Bear me, oh ! bear me, to thy realms unknown,
Enchantress ! waft me in thy car sublime !
To bend, entranc'd, before thy shadowy throne,
To view the wonders of thy fairy-clime !
SONNET TO ITALY.
FOR thee, Ansonia ! Nature's bounteous hand,
Luxuriant spreads around her blooming stores;
Profusion laughs o'er all the glowing land,
And softest breezes from thy myrtle-shores.
Yet though for thee, unclouded suns diffuse
Their genial radiance o'er thy blushing plains;
Though in thy fragrant groves the sportive muse
Delights to pour her wild, enchanted strains;
Though airs that breathe of paradise are thine,
Sweet as the Indian, or Arabian gales;
Though fruitful olive and empurpling vine,
Enrich, fair Italy ! thy Alpine vales;
Yet far from thee inspiring freedom flies,
To Albion's coast and ever-varying skies !
THE LAPLANDER TO HIS REIN-DEER.
HOW long, oh, my faithful companion and guide !
Thou hast wafted o'er deserts my car !
How oft, oh, my rein-deer ! thy speed has been tried,
O'er mountains unknown and afar!
But thy youth is departed, thy fire is no more,
And thy limbs all their vigor have lost;
For age steals upon thee, relentless and hoar,
And colder than winter his frost !
When friendship, or pleasure, invited away,
Thou hast borne me o'er valleys and plains;
Untir'd with the dangers, the toils of the day,
While the road was beguil'd by my strains !
When love gave the word, o'er the landscape of snow,
We flew like the wings of the wind !
In this ice-cover'd region,
his sun-beam may glow,
To melt and to soften the mind !
But thy youth is departed, thy spirit and grace,
And thy limbs all their vigor have lost;
For age steals upon thee with lingering pace,
And colder than winter his frost.
How oft has the summer, in mantle of green,
Array'd the wild Tenglio's side;
Since thou, oh, my rein-deer ! my servant hast been,
My faithful companion and guide !
When we journey'd together, and both in our prime,
How fleet were thy steps o'er the waste;
But fleeter than
thee, oh, my rein-deer ! is time,
More swift, more unsparing in haste !
For thy youth is departed, thy spirit is fled,
And thy limbs all their vigor have lost;
Now age steals upon thee, unwelcome and dread,
And colder than winter his frost !
OH ! bear me to the groves of palm,
Where perfum'd airs diffuse their balm !
And when the noon-tide beams invade,
Then lay me in the embow'ring shade;
Where Bananas o'er my head,
Mingling with the Tam'rind spread;
Where the long liannes combining,
Wild festoons of flow'rs entwining;
Fragrant cassia, softly blowing,
Lime and orange, ever glowing;
All their spicy breath exhale,
To scent the pleasure-fanning gale.
There her sweet ambrosial stores,
Nature in profusion pours;
The cocoa's nectar let me sip,
The citron's juice refresh my lip;
While around me hovering play
Birds, in radiant plumage gay;
And amidst the foliage, raise
Melodies, in varied lays.
There, in aromatic bow'rs,
Be mine to pass the summer-hours;
Or by some clear cascade reclin'd;
Whose dashing sound may lull the mind,
Wake the lyre and tune the song,
Scenes of paradise among !
SUCCESS to the heroes of gallant Castile,
Undaunted in danger, victorious in fight!
May they teach proud oppressors and tyrants to feel,
The patriot's arm of invincible might !
Live in memory eternal, the deeds of the brave !
Be the warriors immortal, who fall on the field !
The garlands of summer shall bloom on their grave,
And the trophies of glory emblazon their shield !
Success to the heroes whom Albion has giv'n,
In the cause of Iberia their aid to supply;
May they wield the bright armour of Justice and Heav'n,
And wave the proud banner of Freedom on high !
May Victory attend on the patriot-band !
May the genius of Albion their bosoms inflame !
Soon may they with laurels return to their land,
Be welcom'd by Love and applauded by Fame !
THOU tyrant of the ling'ring hour !
Ah, why with me delight to rest ?
Hence far away, tormenting pow'r
Unwelcome guest !
With thee, sad visitant ! I prove
The long, the melancholy day;
Ah ! foe to peace ! from me remove,
Thy dreaded sway.
Oft when I'd court ideal themes,
'Tis then thy leaden wings o'erspread
That seat of wild, fantastic dreams,
My weary head.
And when in Fancy's fiery car,
With her and with the muse I'd fly;
To realms beyond the morning-star,
The earth and sky;
Not long in these illusions blest,
Through fairy-palaces I roam;
Thy wand recals, unwelcome guest !
My visions home.
Ah, foe to peace ! when thou art nigh,
Farewell the dew-balm of repose;
Then slumber's fled—the languid eye
Forgets to close.
I ne'er my midnight vigils keep,
To ponder by the taper's light;
Nor waste in downy arms of sleep,
The morning bright.
'Tis mine to rove the hill, the dale,
To wander through embow'ring trees;
The soul of freshness to inhale,
Then, tyrant of the ling'ring hour,
Ah ! why with me delight to rest ?
Hence far away, tormenting pow'r,
Unwelcome guest !
MAID of the placid smile and heav'nly mien,
With beaming eye, tho' tearful yet serene;
Teach me, like thee, in sorrow's ling'ring hour,
To bless devotion's all-consoling pow'r;
Teach me, like thee, when storms around me rise,
And spreading glooms obscure the azure skies,
On one unclouded light to fix my view,
For ever brilliant and for ever true;
The star of faith ! whose mild, celestial ray,
With steady lustre shall direct my way:
Thy seraph-hand shall raise my drooping head;
Angel of peace ! thy wings around me spread;
With hallow'd spells my fainting spirit cheer,
Hush the sad murmur, dry the starting tear.
Thus when the halcyon broods upon the tides,
The winds are lull'd, the mountain-wave subsides;
Soft rainbow-hues, reflected, tinge the deep,
And balmy zephyrs on its bosom sleep—
Maid of the placid smile ! my troubled soul,
Would own thy gentle reign, thy mild control;
Though the pale cypress twine thy sainted brow,
Eternal palms for thee, in heav'n shall blow.
ADDRESS TO THOUGHT.
OH thou ! the musing, wakeful pow'r,
That lov'st the silent, midnight hour,
Thy lonely vigils then to keep,
And banish far the angel, sleep,
With all his lovely train;
Come, pensive thought ! with thee I'll rove,
Through forest wild, sequestered grove,
Or twilight plain.
The lone recluse, in hermit-cell,
With thee, oh nymph! delights to dwell;
Forsakes the world, and all its charms,
Forsakes the syren pleasure's arms,
In peaceful shades to rest;
And oft with thee, entranc'd, may hear,
Celestial voices warbling near,
Of spirits blest !
When slow declines the rosy day
And ev'ning smiles with parting ray,
When twilight spreads her magic hues,
When moon-beams tremble on the dews,
Be mine to rove retir'd;
By fairy bower, or dimpled stream,
To muse with thee some heavenly theme,
Oh ! maid inspir'd !
'Tis thine on eagle-wings to soar,
Unknown, unfathom'd realms explore;
Below the deeps, above the sky,
Beyond the starry orbs on high;
"Can aught restrain thy flight ?"
To pierce the veil of future time,
And rise, in Fancy's car sublime,
To realms of light:
At midnight, to the guilty breast,
Thou com'st, a fear'd, appalling guest;
While lightnings flash and thunders roll,
Accusing conscience wakes the soul,
And bids each fear increase;
And, while benignant slumber flies,
With awful voice, in whisper cries,
Farewell to peace !
But oh, dread pow'r ! how sweet thy reign,
To Virtue's mild and hallow'd train !
The storm around may wildly rave,
And winter swell the mountain wave,
Yet soft their calm repose !
Their minds unruffled and serene,
And guardian-seraphs watch unseen,
Their eyes to close !
THE INDIAN LOVER.
O'ER flowery fields of waving maize,
The breeze of morning lightly plays;
Arise, my Zumia ! let us rove,
The cool and fragrant citron grove !
Fair nature spreads her lavish bloom,
And bids her zephyrs waft perfume;
She breathes ambrosial odours rare;
With cassia-fragrance fills the air,
And calls thee forth her sweets to share,
My lovely maid !
We'll mark each aromatic flower,
Expanding to the radiant hour;
We'll seek the scented orange-bower,
Or tam'rind shade;
Now, ere the fervid hours of day,
Arise, my Zumia ! haste away !
Hark ! from yonder palmy grove,
Swells the choral song of love !
There, on every weeping spray,
Warblers tune the melting lay:
Morning's roseate hues are spreading
Balmy essence, flowers are shedding;
Nature smiles, in green array,
My Zumia rise ! no more delay !
Now glitt'ring in the lucid rays,
The humming-bird his wing displays
Floats on the sun-beam and the gale,
From spicy wood, to myrtle-vale;
Flutters on light, ethereal plume,
In tints of orient beauty drest;
Steals honey from the glowing bloom,
And weaves the fairy-nest.
I'll climb each tall, aspiring tree,
To seek nectareous fruits for thee;
I'll cull the blossoms op'ning fair,
In blushing wreaths to bind thy hair:
For thee the streams in murmurs flow;
For thee the buds empurpling glow;
For thee the balmy zephyrs play;
Arise, my Zumia ! haste away !
OF THE SPANISH PATRIOTS.
YE who burn with glory's flame !
Ye who love the Patriot's fame;
Ye who scorn oppressive might,
Rise ! in freedom's cause unite;
Castilians rise !
Hark ! Iberia calls, ye brave !
Haste ! your bleeding country save:
Be the palm of bright renown,
Be th' unfading laurel-crown,
The hero's prize !
High the crimson banner wave !
Ours be conquest or the grave !
Spirits of our noble sires,
Lo ! your sons, with kindred fires,
Unconquer'd glow !
See them once again advance,
Crush the pride of hostile France;
See their hearts, with ardor warm,
See them, with triumphant arm,
Repel the foe !
By the Cid's immortal name,
By Gonsalvo's deathless fame;
By the chiefs of former time,
By the valiant deeds sublime,
Of ancient days;
Brave Castilians ! grasp the spear !
Gallant Andalusians, hear !
Glory calls you to the plain,
Future bards, in lofty strain,
Shall sing your praise !
Shades of mighty warriors dead,
Ye who nobly fought and bled;
Ye whose valor could withstand,
The savage Moor's invading band
Untaught to yield;
Bade victorious Charlemagne,
Own the patriot-arms of Spain;
Ye, in later times renown'd,
Ye who fell with laurels crown'd,
On Pavia's field !
Teach our hearts like yours to burn;
Lawless pow'r like you to spurn;
Teach us but like you to wield,
Freedom's lance and Freedom's shield
With daring might:
Tyrant ! soon thy reign is o'er,
Thou shalt waste mankind no more;
Boast no more thy thousands slain,
Jena's, or Marengo's plain;
Lo ! the sun that gilds thy day,
Soon will veil its parting ray,
In endless night !
OH, Thou ! before whose radiant shrine,
Entranc'd, adoring seraphs bend;
Eternal source of light divine !
Wilt Thou thy hallow'd ear incline !
And mortal pray'r attend ?
Yes, Father ! yes, benignant Pow'r !
Around Thee beams fair Mercy's purest ray;
No awful terrors round Thee low'r,
Save when, in Judgment's dreaded hour,
Thou bidst Creation tremble and obey !
Then, rob'd in darkness and in clouds,
That solemn veil thy glory shrouds;
Chaos and night thy dark pavilion form;
Thy spirit on the whirlwind rides,
Impels the unresisting tides,
Glares in the lightning, rushes in the storm !
But Thou wilt meet the suppliant eye,
And Thou wilt mark the lowly sigh;
And Thou the holy tear wilt see,
Which penitence devotes to Thee;
That sigh thy breezes waft to heav'n,
That holy tear is grateful incense giv'n
Low, humble, sad, to Thee I bend,
Oh ! listen from thy blest abode !
And though celestial hymns ascend,
Oh ! deign a mortal's prayer attend,
My Father and my GOD !
Teach me if hope, if joy, be mine,
To bless thy bounteous hand divine;
And still, with trembling homage, raise
The grateful pæan of exalted praise !
When deep affliction wounds my soul,
Still let me own thy mild control;
Teach me, submissive and resign'd,
To calm the tempest of the mind;
To lift the meek, adoring eye,
Suppress the tear and hush the sigh;
Gaze on one bright, unclouded star,
And hail "the day-spring" from afar,
Bid angel-faith dispel surrounding gloom,
And soar, on cherub-wing—beyond the tomb.
THOU awful sage ! with locks of snow,
With clouded mien and pensive brow;
Whose drooping form is bent with years,
Whose aged eye is dim with tears;
I court thee not, thou guide severe !
Ah ! still avert thy frown austere !
For, oh ! as winter blights the flow'rs,
Despoils the woodlands and the bow'rs;
So can thy chilling pow'r destroy
The dream of hope, the dream of joy.
Oh ! let me ever fondly stray,
Thro' Fancy's bow'rs, thro' Fancy's way;
And if her fairy-visions bright,
Be but illusions of delight,
Oh ! let me, still deceiv'd, be blest,
Lull'd, by her magic-song, to rest !
Ah ! ne'er, Experience ! let me learn
Thy sadd'ning tale, thy precept stern !
The rose upon thy cheek is dead,
The lustre from thine eye is fled;
Thy wither'd heart forgets to glow,
To dance with joy, to melt at woe;
Forgets to burn with glory's flame,
To thrill with love, to pant for fame.
Is life a scene of pain and care ?
Is there no bright Elysium there ?
Must Hope's enchanting scenes decay ?
Will Fancy's rainbow fade away ?
Shall pale Misfortune early blight
The op'ning roses of delight ?
Then why, ah ! why, so soon destroy,
The dreams of love, and youth, and joy ?
Ah ! ne'er, Experience ! let me learn
Thy sadd'ning tale, thy precept stern !
TO THE MEMORY OF A VERY AMIABLE YOUNG LADY, WHO
DIED AT THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN.
AT length, departed saint ! thy pangs are o'er,
And earthly suff'ring shall be thine no more;
Like some young rose-bud, blighted in its May,
Thy virtues bloom'd, to wither soon away !
Around thy grave let Spring her off'ring strew,
Her drooping lilies, bath'd in fragrant dew;
Emblems of thee, thou sweet, lamented maid;
Thou spotless lily, doom'd so soon to fade !
Angelic sweetness, piety refin'd,
Within thy gentle bosom were enshrin'd.
Thy heav'nly mind display'd, in early youth,
The fairest blossom of celestial truth—
How oft, sweet girl ! thy soothing tears would flow,
In sacred sympathy with others' woe !
Yet Patience taught thee to sustain thy own,
Suppress the sigh, and hush the rising moan;
'Midst anguish, still to wear the placid mien,
Mild Resignation's smile and look serene !
Ye who have watch'd beside the mournful bed,
And rais'd, with anxious care, the languid head;
Gaz'd on the pallid cheek, the faded eye,
And heard the breathings of the parting sigh;
Ye who have mourn'd a sister's early doom,
Or bent in sorrow o'er a daughter's tomb;
Oh ! weep for those, who sadly now deplore,
The fate, the virtues, of the maid no more.
What pow'r can sooth a tender parent's grief,
Or bring the friend's, the sister's woes relief ?
Religion pure, ineffably divine,
Angel of peace, that heav'nly pow'r is thine,
Though spreading glooms the beam of joy may shroud,
Still, still thy rainbow brightens in the cloud;
Dispels the mist of error and of night,
Till fairer prospects open on the sight;
The blissful regions of eternal rest,
The calm, Elysian mansions of the blest.
—There too, each pang, each earthly suff'ring o'er,
Her gentle spirit soars, to weep no more !
"Mourn not for me," the happy seraph cries,
"Exulting, lo! I gain my native skies !
A golden harp enraptur'd now I bear,
A wreath of bright, unfading palms I wear !
Mourn not for me, escap'd from ev'ry woe !
I gaze with pity, on the scenes below !
And bless the hour, when, freed from mortal clay,
My spirit mounted to the realms of day !
Oh ! think, when past, a few eventful years,
Of toil and sorrow in the vale of tears;
Then shall we meet, releas'd from ev'ry pain,
Then shall we meet—nor ever part again !"
TO MY YOUNGER BROTHER,
ON HIS RETURN FROM SPAIN, AFTER THE FATAL RETREAT
UNDER SIR JOHN MOORE, AND THE BATTLE OF CORUNNA.
THO' dark are the prospects and heavy the hours,
Tho' life is a desert, and cheerless the way;
Yet still shall affection adorn it with flow'rs,
Whose fragrance shall never decay !
And, lo! to embrace thee, my brother ! she flies,
With artless delight, that no words can bespeak;
With a sun-beam of transport illuming her eyes,
With a smile and a glow on her cheek !
From the trophies of war, from the spear and the shield,
From scenes of destruction, from perils unblest;
Oh ! welcome again to the grove and the field,
To the vale of retirement and rest !
Then warble, sweet muse ! with the lyre and the voice,
Oh ! gay be the measure and sportive the strain;
For light is my heart, and my spirits rejoice,
To meet thee, my brother ! again.
When the heroes of Albion, still valiant and true,
Were bleeding, were falling, with victory crown'd;
How often would fancy present to my view,
The horrors that waited thee round !
How constant, how fervent, how pure was my pray'r,
That Heav'n would protect thee from danger and harm;
That angels of mercy would shield thee with care,
In the heat of the combat's alarm !
How sad and how often descended the tear,
"Ah ! long shall remembrance the image retain !"
How mournful the sigh, when I trembled with fear,
I might never behold thee again !
But the pray'r was accepted, the sorrow is o'er,
And the tear-drop is fled, like the dew on the rose;
Thy dangers, our tears, have endear'd thee the more,
And my bosom with tenderness glows !
And, oh! when the dreams, the enchantments of youth,
Bright and transient, have fled, like the rainbow, away;
My affection for thee, still unfading in truth,
Shall never, oh ! never, decay !
No time can impair it, no change can destroy,
Whate'er be the lot I am destin'd to share;
It will smile in the sun-shine of hope and of joy,
And beam thro' the cloud of despair !
TO MY MOTHER.
IF e'er for human bliss or woe
I feel the sympathetic glow;
If e'er my heart has learn'd to know
The gen'rous wish or pray'r;
Who sow'd the germ, with tender hand ?
Who mark'd its infant-leaves expand ?
My mother's fost'ring care.
And if one flow'r of charms refin'd
May grace the garden of my mind;
'Twas she who nurs'd it there:
She lov'd to cherish and adorn
Each blossom of the soil;
To banish ev'ry weed and thorn,
That oft oppos'd her toil !
And, oh ! if e'er I've sigh'd to claim
The palm, the living palm of fame,
The glowing wreath of praise;
If e'er I've wish'd the glitt'ring stores,
That fortune on her fav'rite pours;
'Twas but, that wealth and fame, if mine,
Round thee , with streaming rays might shine,
And gild thy sun-bright days !
Yet not that splendor, pomp, and pow'r,
Might then irradiate ev'ry hour;
For these, my mother ! well I know,
On thee no raptures could bestow;
But could thy bounty, warm and kind,
Be, like thy wishes,
And fall, as manna from the skies,
And bid a train of blessings rise,
Diffusing joy and peace;
The tear-drop, grateful, pure and bright,
For thee would beam with softer light,
Than all the diamond's crystal rays,
Than all the emerald's lucid blaze;
And joys of heav'n would thrill thy heart,
To bid one bosom-grief depart,
One tear, one sorrow cease !
Then, oh ! may heav'n, that loves to bless,
pow'r to cheer distress;
Make thee its minister below,
To light the cloudy path of woe;
To visit the deserted cell,
Where indigence is doom'd to dwell;
To raise, when drooping to the earth,
The blossoms of neglected worth;
And round, with lib'ral hand dispense,
The sunshine of beneficence !
But, ah ! if fate should still deny
Delights like these, too rich and high;
If grief and pain thy steps assail,
In life's remote and wintry vale;
Then, as the wild Eolian lyre,
Complains with soft, entrancing number,
When the loud storm awakes the wire,
And bids enchantment cease to slumber;
So filial love, with soothing voice,
E'en then, shall teach thee to rejoice;
E'en then, shall sweeter, milder sound,
When sorrow's tempest raves around;
While dark misfortune's gales destroy,
The frail, mimosa-buds of hope and joy !
WRITTEN IN THE MEMOIRS OF ELIZABETH SMITH.
OH, thou ! whose pure, exalted mind
Lives in this record, fair and bright;
Oh, thou ! whose blameless life combin'd
Soft female charms and grace refin'd
With science and with light !
Celestial maid ! whose spirit soar'd
Beyond this vale of tears;
Whose clear, enlighten'd eye explor'd
The lore of years !
Daughter of heav'n ! if
here , e'en
The wing of tow'ring thought was thine;
If, on this dim and mundane sphere,
Fair truth illum'd thy bright career,
With morning-star divine;
How must thy blest, ethereal soul,
Now kindle in her noon-tide ray;
And hail, unfetter'd by control,
The fount of day !
E'en now , perhaps, thy seraph-eyes,
Undimm'd by doubt, nor veil'd by fear,
Behold a chain of wonders rise;
Gaze on the noon-beam of the skies,
Transcendent, pure and clear !
now the fair, the good, the true,
From mortal sight conceal'd,
Bless in one blaze thy raptur'd view,
In light reveal'd !
If here , the lore of distant time,
And learning's flow'rs were all thine own;
How must thy mind ascend, sublime,
Matur'd in heav'n's empyreal clime,
To light's unclouded throne !
now , thy kindling glance,
Each orb of living fire explores;
Darts o'er creation's wide expanse,
Oh ! if that lightning-eye surveys
This dark and sublunary plain;
How must the wreath of human praise,
Fade, wither, vanish, in thy gaze,
So dim, so pale, so vain !
How, like a faint and shadowy dream,
Must quiver learning's brightest ray;
While on thine eyes, with lucid stream,
The sun of glory pours his beam,
Perfection's day !
THE SILVER LOCKS.
TO JOHN FOULKES , ESQ.—18TH AUGUST, 1809.
THO' youth may boast the curls that flow,
In sunny waves of auburn glow;
As graceful on thy hoary head,
Has time the robe of honor spread,
And there, oh ! softly,
His wreath of snow !
As frost-work on the trees display'd,
When weeping Flora leaves the shade,
more than Flora, charms the sight;
E'en so thy locks, of purest white,
Survive, in age's frost-work bright,
Youth's vernal rose decay'd !
To grace the nymph, whose tresses play
Light on the sportive breeze of May,
Let other bards the garland twine,
Where sweets of ev'ry hue combine;
Those locks rever'd, that silvery shine,
Invite my lay !
Less white the summer-cloud sublime,
Less white the winter's fringing rime;
Nor do Belinda's lovelier seem,
"A poet's blest, immortal theme",
Than thine, which wear the moonlight-beam,
Of rev'rend time !
Long may the graceful honors smile,
Like moss on some declining pile;
Oh ! much rever'd ! may filial care,
Around thee, duteous, long repair,
Thy joys with tender bliss to share,
Thy pains beguile !
Long, long, ye snowy ringlets, wave,
Long, long, your much-lov'd beauty save !
May bliss your latest ev'ning crown,
Disarm life's winter of its frown,
And soft, ye hoary hairs, go down,
In gladness to the grave !
And, as the parting beams of day,
On mountain-snows reflected play;
And tints of roseate lustre shed;
Thus, on the snow that crowns thy head,
May joy, with ev'ning planet, shed
His mildest ray !
TO THE SOLDIERS OF CARACTACUS.
VALIANT sons of freedom's land,
Ardent, firm, devoted band,
Rise, at honor's thrilling call:
Warriors, arm ! shall Britain fall ?
Bleed, soldiers ! bleed,
For Britain's throne, for glory's meed !
Heroes ! to the combat fly,
Proud to struggle, blest to die;
Go ! should death your efforts crown,
Mount the pinions of renown;
Go ! tell our sires,
Their daring fires,
Glow in our lofty souls, till life expires !
Tell them, ne'er shall Britain yield,
Whilst a hand the sword can wield !
Tell them, we the strife maintain,
Tell them, we defy the chain !
In heart the same,
We emulate their brightest fame !
Shades of sainted chiefs ! be near,
Frown on Albion's lifted spear !
Point the falchion, guide the car,
Flaming through the ranks of war !
Rise on the field,
With sword and shield,
To British eyes in forms of light reveal'd !
Spark of freedom, blaze on high !
Wilt thou quiver ? shalt thou die ?
Never, never ! holy fire !
Mount, irradiate! beam, aspire !
Our foes consume,
Our swords illume,
And chase the dark horizon's gloom !
Shall the Roman arms invade
Mona's dark and hallow'd shade ?
By the dread, mysterious wand,
Waving in the Druid's hand;
By ev'ry rite,
Of Mona's night,
Arm, warriors ! arm, in sacred cause unite !
Honor ! while thy bands disdain,
Slav'ry's dark, debasing chain;
Britain ! while thy sons are free,
Dauntless, faithful, firm, for thee;
Mona ! while at thy command,
Ardent, bold, sublime, they stand;
Proud foes in vain,
Prepare the chain,
For Albion unsubdu'd shall reign !
Lo ! we see a flame divine
Blaze o'er Mona's awful shrine;
Lo ! we hear a voice proclaim,
"Albion, thine, immortal fame !"
Arise, ye brave,
To bleed, to save,
Tho' proud in pomp, yon Roman eagles wave !
Cæsar, come ! in ten-fold mail,
Will thine arms like ours avail ?
Cæsar ! let thy falchions blaze,
Will they dim fair Freedom's rays ?
Cæsar ! boast thy wide control,
Canst thou chain th' aspiring soul ?
What steel can bind,
The soaring mind,
Free as the light, the wave, the wind ?
SUBLIME is thy prospect, thou proud-rolling Ocean,
And Fancy surveys thee with solemn delight;
When thy mountainous billows are wild in commotion,
And the tempest is rous'd by the spirits of night !
When the moon-beams thro' winter-clouds faintly appearing,
At intervals gleam on the dark-swelling wave;
And the mariner, dubious, now hoping, now fearing,
May hear the stern Genius of hurricanes rave !
But now, when thine anger has long been subsiding,
And the tempest has folded the might of its wing;
How clear is thy surface, in loveliness gliding,
For April has open'd the portals of spring !
Now soft on thy bosom the orient is beaming,
And tremulous breezes are waving thy breast;
On thy mirror the clouds and the shadows are streaming,
And morning and glory the picture have drest !
No gale but the balmy Favonian is blowing,
In coral-caves resting, the winds are asleep;
And, rich in the sun-beam, yon pendants are glowing,
That tinge with their colors the silvery deep !
Yet smile or be dreadful, thou still-changing Ocean,
Tremendous or lovely, resistless or still;
I view thee adoring, with hallow'd emotion,
The Pow'r that can hush or arouse thee at will !
THE ANGEL OF THE SUN.
9TH SEPTEMBER, 1809
WHILE bending o'er my golden lyre,
While waving light my wing of fire ;
Creation's regions to explore,
To gaze, to wonder, to adore:
While faithful to th' eternal will,
My task of glory I fulfil;
To rule the comet's dread career,
To guide the planets on their sphere;
While from this pure, empyreal sky,
I dart my truth-enlighten'd eye;
What mists involve yon changeful scene,
How dark thy views, thou orb terrene !
E'en now compassion clouds awhile
Bright ecstasy's immortal smile !
I see the flames of war consume
Fair scenes that smil'd in glowing bloom;
O'er ev'ry nation, ev'ry land,
I see destruction wave his hand;
How dark thy billows, ocean-flood !
Lo ! man has dy'd thy waves in blood !
Nature ! how chang'd thy vivid grace !
Vengeance and war thy charms deface.
Oh! scene of doubt, of care, of anguish !
Oh ! scene, where virtue's doom'd to languish !
Oh ! scene, where death triumphant rides,
The spear, the sword, the javelin guides !
And canst thou be
that earth, declare,
That earth so pure, so good, so fair,
O'er which, a new-created globe,
Thy Father spread
Perfection's robe ?
Oh, Heav'n, how chang'd, how pale, how dim !
Since first arose the choral hymn,
That hail'd, at thy auspicious birth,
A dawning Paradise on earth !
On that sublime, creative morn,
That saw the infant-planet born,
How swell'd the harp, the lyre, the voice,
To bless, to triumph, to rejoice !
How kneeling rapture led the song,
How glow'd th' exulting cherub-throng !
When the fair orb, arising bright,
Sprang into glory, life, and light !
—Oh ! Heav'n, how chang'd, a thorny waste,
With shadows dimm'd, with clouds o'ercast !
See passions desolate the ball,
See kingdoms, thrones, and empires fall !
See mad Ambition's whirlwind sweep,
Resistless as the wintry deep !
See, waving thro' the troubled sky,
His crimson banner glare on high !
Blush, Anger ! blush, and hide thy sword;
Weep, Conquest ! weep, imperious lord !
And mourn, to view thy sullied name
Inscrib'd in blood—emblaz'd in flame !
And are those cries, which rend the air,
Of death, of torture, of despair,
Hymns that should mount on wings above,
To him, the GOD OF PEACE AND LOVE !
And is yon flame of ruthless war,
That spreads destruction's reign afar,
The incense taught by man to blaze,
For him, who dwells in mercy's rays ?
Mortals ! if
angels grief might know,
From angels if a tear might flow,
celestial woes might rise,
And pity dim a seraph's eyes;
Yet, mortals ! oft, thro' mists and tears,
Your bright original appears,
Gleams thro' the veil, with radiant smile,
A sun-beam on a ruin'd pile !
Exulting, oft the forms I trace,
Of moral grandeur, beauty, grace;
That speak your pow'rs for glory giv'n,
That still reveal the Heir of Heav'n !
extinct your heav'nly fire,
For cherubs oft its beams admire !
I see fair virtue nobly rise,
darling , of the skies !
Smile on the pangs that round her wait,
And brave, and bear, the storms of fate !
I see her lift th' adoring eye,
Forbid the tear, suppress the sigh;
Still on her high career proceeding,
Sublime ! august !—tho' suff'ring—bleeding !
The thorn, tho' sharp, the blast, tho' rude,
Shake not her lofty fortitude !
Oh ! graceful dignity serene,
Faith, glory, triumph on thy mien !
Still, virtue ! still the strife maintain,
The smile, the frown of fate, disdain !
Think on that hour, when freed from clay,
Thy soul shall rise to life and day;
Still mount to heav'n—on sorrow's car;
There shine a fix'd unclouded star,
Like me to range, like me to soar,
worlds of light explore !
Then angel-forms around shall throng,
And greet thee in triumphal song;
"Mount, spirit ! mount, thy woes are o'er,
Pain, sickness, trials, now no more !
Hail, sister ! hail, thy task is done,
Rise, cherub, rise !—thy crown is won !"
Oh, favor'd mortals ! best belov'd,
Ye in stern perils fiercely prov'd;
When faith and truth, with pure control,
Refine, inspire, exalt, your soul;
When firm in brightest, noblest aims,
Your bosoms glow with hallow'd flames;
When still the
narrow path you tread,
Nor scorn, nor grief, nor dangers dread;
Tho' fate with ev'ry dart assail,
To pierce your heart's heav'n-temper'd mail;
Nor shrink, tho' death his jav'lin hurl'd,
untainted , by the world !
Then think, ye brave, ye constant few,
To faith, to hope, to virtue, true !
Then think, that seraphs from above,
Behold your deeds, admire, and love !
That those, who heav'n's commands perform,
Who still the wave, who ride the storm;
Who point the lightning's fiery wing,
Or shed the genial dews of spring;
Who fill with balm the zephyr's breath,
Or taint th' avenging winds with death;
That those , who guide the planets' course,
Who bend at light's transcendent source;
Oh ! think that
those your toil survey,
Your struggling mind, your rugged way !
Oh ! think that those,
e'en now prepare,
A bow'r of bliss, for you to share !
E'en now , th' immortal wreath entwine,
Around your sainted brows to shine;
E'en now, their golden harps attune,
To greet you in the blaze of noon !
Soon shall your captive souls be free,
To bless, to hymn, to soar, like me !
The fair, the perfect, and the bright,
Shall beam unclouded on your sight;
Soon shall the silver lutes be strung,
Soon shall the Pæan lays be sung;
"Hail, sister, hail ! thy task is done;
Rise, cherub, rise ! thy palm is won !!"
THE RUIN AND ITS FLOWERS.
SWEETS of the wild ! that breathe and bloom,
On this lone tow'r, this ivy'd wall;
Lend to the gale a rich perfume,
And grace the ruin in its fall;
Tho' doom'd, remote from careless eye,
To smile, to flourish, and to die,
In solitude sublime,
Oh ! ever may the spring renew,
Your balmy scent and glowing hue,
To deck the robe of time !
Breathe, fragrance ! breathe, enrich the air,
Tho' wasted on its wing unknown !
Blow, flow'rets ! blow, tho' vainly fair,
Neglected and alone !
These tow'rs, that long withstood the blast,
These mossy tow'rs are mouldering fast,
While Flora's children stay;
To mantle o'er the lonely pile,
To gild destruction with a smile,
And beautify decay !
Sweets of the wild ! uncultur'd blowing,
Neglected in luxuriance glowing;
From the dark ruins frowning near,
Your charms in brighter tints appear,
And richer blush assume;
You smile with
softer beauty crown'd,
Whilst, all is desolate around,
Like sun-shine on a tomb !
Thou hoary pile ! majestic still,
Memento of departed fame !
While roving o'er the moss-clad hill,
I ponder on thine ancient name !
Here grandeur, beauty, valour, sleep,
That here, so oft have shone supreme;
While glory, honor, fancy, weep,
That vanish'd is the golden dream !
Where are the banners, waving proud,
To kiss the summer-gale of ev'n ?
All purple as the morning-cloud,
All streaming to the winds of heav'n !
Where is the harp, by rapture strung,
To melting song, or martial story ?
Where are the lays the minstrel sung,
To loveliness, or glory ?
Lorn echo of these mouldering walls,
To thee no festal measure calls;
No music thro' the desert-halls,
Awakes thee to rejoice !
How still thy sleep ! as death profound,
As if, within this lonely round,
A step—a note—a whisper'd sound,
Had ne'er arous'd thy voice !
Thou hear'st the zephyr murmuring, dying,
Thou hear'st the foliage waving, sighing;
But ne'er again shall harp, or song,
These dark, deserted courts along,
Disturb thy calm repose;
The harp is broke, the song is fled,
The voice is hush'd, the bard is dead;
And never shall thy tones repeat,
Or lofty strain, or carol sweet,
With plaintive close !
Proud castle ! tho' the days are flown,
When once thy tow'rs in glory shone;
When music thro' thy turrets rung,
When banners o'er thy ramparts hung,
Tho' 'midst thine arches, frowning lone,
Stern desolation rear his throne;
And silence, deep and awful, reign,
Where echoed once the choral strain;
Yet oft, dark ruin ! ling'ring here,
The muse will hail thee with a tear;
Here, when the moon-light, quiv'ring, beams,
And thro' the fringing ivy streams,
And softens ev'ry shade sublime,
And mellows ev'ry tint of time,
Oh ! here shall contemplation love,
Unseen, and undisturb'd, to rove;
And bending o'er some mossy tomb,
Where valor sleeps, or beauties bloom,
Shall weep for glory's transient day,
And grandeur's evanescent ray !
And list'ning to the swelling blast,
Shall wake the spirit of the past,
Call up the forms of ages fled,
Of warriors and of minstrels dead;
Who sought the field, who struck the lyre,
With all ambition's kindling fire !
Nor wilt thou, Spring ! refuse to breathe,
Soft odours on this desert-air;
Refuse to twine thine earliest wreath,
And fringe these tow'rs with garlands fair
Sweets of the wild, oh ! ever bloom,
Unheeded on this ivy'd wall !
Lend to the gale a rich perfume,
And grace the ruin in its fall !
Thus, round Misfortune's holy head,
Would Pity wreaths of honor spread;
Like you, thus blooming on this lonely pile,
She seeks despair, with heart-reviving smile !
BLOW, mountain-breeze ! all wild, like thee,
Unfetter'd as thy wing, I rove;
With airy step and spirit free,
From snowy cliff, to shadowy grove !
And teach lone echoes to prolong,
From Caves remote, my sprightly song,
Blow, mountain-breeze !
No sigh for pomp or state I breathe,
For me, the sun-beam smiles in gold !
I envy not the victor's wreath,
For me the Alpine flow'rs unfold !
Gay, simple, free, I rove along,
And wood and hill resound my song,
Blow, mountain-breeze !
When morning wakes, with humid eye,
And cheek that kindling, bright'ning, glows;
When the soft blushes of the sky,
With roseate lustre tinge the snows;
I lead my flocks, I leave my home,
And carol gaily as I roam,
Blow, mountain-breeze !
When fervid beams of noon invade,
And bloom and verdure faint with heat;
The palm, the pine, the cedar-shade,
Afford me still a cool retreat !
Where shelter'd from th' oppressive ray,
I wake soft echoes with my lay,
Blow, mountain-breeze !
Deep in a glen, retir'd and green,
How sweetly smiles my native cot;
Where peace, and joy, and love serene,
Have sanctified the tranquil spot !
How blest ! there
ever to remain,
And warble still th' untutor'd strain,
Blow, mountain-breeze !
In rich festoons, the mantling vine,
Embow'ring, o'er its casement waves;
And bloomy clusters dangling, shine,
Thro' tendrils and luxuriant leaves—
While, as I train each wayward spray,
I carol still the artless lay,
Blow, mountain-breeze !
Mine is the breath of zephyr pure,
The Alpine sweet that scents the gale;
The slumber light, the life secure,
The boundless range of hill and dale !
Fearless I rove, exploring, free,
Spirit of air ! all wild like thee,
Blow, mountain-breeze !
FAIR Gratitude ! in strain sublime,
Swell high to heav'n thy tuneful zeal;
And, hailing this auspicious time,
Kneel, Adoration ! kneel !
For lo ! the day, th' immortal day,
When Mercy's full, benignant ray,
Chas'd ev'ry gathering cloud away,
And pour'd the noon of light !
Rapture ! be kindling, mounting, glowing.
While from thine eye the tear is flowing,
Pure, warm, and bright !
'Twas on this day, oh, love divine !
The orient star's effulgence rose;
Then wak'd the moon, whose eye benign,
Shall never, never close !
Messiah ! be thy Name ador'd;
Eternal, high, redeeming Lord !
By grateful worlds be anthems pour'd,
Emanuel ! Prince of Peace !
This day, from Heav'n's empyreal dwelling,
Harp, lyre, and voice, in concert swelling,
Bade discord cease !
Wake the loud Pæan, tune the voice,
Children of heav'n and sons of earth !
Seraphs and men ! exult, rejoice,
To bless the Saviour's birth !
Devotion ! light thy purest fire !
Transport ! on cherub-wing aspire !
Praise ! wake to him thy golden lyre,
Strike ev'ry thrilling chord !
While at the ark of Mercy kneeling,
We own thy grace, reviving, healing,
Redeemer ! Lord !
WAR AND PEACE—A POEM.
WRITTEN AT THE AGE OF FIFTEEN.
THOU, bright Futurity ! whose prospect beams,
In dawning radiance on our day-light dreams;
Whose lambent meteors and ethereal forms
Gild the dark clouds, and glitter thro' the storms;
On thy broad canvas fancy loves to trace,
Her brilliant Iris, drest in vivid grace;
Paints fair creations in celestial dyes,
Tints of the morn and blushes of the skies;
And bids her scenes perfection's robe assume,
The mingling flush of light, and life, and bloom.
Thou bright Futurity ! whose morning-star
Still beams unveil'd, unclouded, from afar;
Whose lovely vista smiling Hope surveys,
Thro' the dim twilight of the silvery haze;
Oh ! let the muse expand her wing on high,
Thy shadowy realms, thy worlds unknown descry;
Let her clear eye-beam, flashing lucid light,
Chase from thy forms th' involving shades of night;
Pierce the dark clouds that veil thy noontide rays,
And soar, exulting, in meridian blaze !
In bliss, in grief, thy radiant scenes bestow,
The zest of rapture, or the balm of woe !
For, as the sun-flower to her idol turns,
Glows in his noon, and kindles as he burns;
Expands her bosom to th' exalting fire,
Lives but to gaze, and gazes to admire;
E'en so to thee, the mind incessant flies,
From thy pure source the fount of joy supplies;
And steals from thee the sunny light that throws
A brighter blush on pleasure's living rose !
To thee pale sorrow turns her eye of tears,
Lifts the dim curtain of unmeasur'd years;
And hails thy promis'd land, th' Elysian shore,
Where weeping virtue shall bewail no more !
Now, while the sounds of martial wrath assail,
While the red banner floats upon the gale;
While dark destruction, with his legion-bands,
Waves the bright sabre o'er devoted lands;
While war's dread comet flashes thro' the air,
And fainting nations tremble at the glare;
To thee, Futurity ! from scenes like these,
Pale fancy turns, for heav'n-imparted ease;
Turns to behold, in thy unclouded skies,
The orb of peace in bright perspective rise;
And pour around, with joy-diffusing ray,
Life, light, and glory, in a flood of day !
Thou, whose lov'd presence and benignant smile
Has beam'd effulgence on this favour'd isle;
Thou ! the fair seraph, in immortal state,
Thron'd on the rainbow, heaven's emblazon'd gate;
Thou ! whose mild whispers in the summer-breeze
Control the storm, and undulate the seas;
Spirit of mercy ! oh ! return, to bring
Palm in thy wreath, and "healing on thy wing !"
Compose each passion to th' eternal will,
Say to the hurricane of war,— "Be still !"
"Vengeance, expire ! thy reign, ambition, cease !
Beam, light of heaven ! triumphant star of peace !"
Is this the muse's wild, illusive dream,
An airy picture, an ideal theme ?
still ride victorious o'er the slain,
And his "pale charges" desolate the plain ?
Ne'er shall revenge her vulture-pinion fold,
Close her dark eye, her lightning-arm withhold ?"
Still must oppression cause th' eternal strife,
And breathe dire mildew o'er the blooms of life ?
Must war still ravage with his car of fire,
And victim myriads in the blaze expire ?
Supernal Pow'r ! on suffering earth look down,
Tyrannic might shall perish in thy frown !
Oh ! deign to speed that blest, appointed time,
When peace and faith shall smile on ev'ry clime !
But first in clouds, the dark, eventful day
Of wrath, avenging wrath ! must roll away !
Thy sword, oh, Justice ! o'er the world must wave,
Ere mercy dawn, to triumph and to save !
Shades of the prophet-bards ! majestic train,
Who seiz'd the harp from Inspiration's fane,
And, fir'd, and guided by divine control,
Woke ev'ry chord to rapture and to soul !
Shades of the prophet-bards ! in days of old,
Whose gifted hands the leaf of fate unroll'd;
Whose prescient eyes, undimm'd by age or tears,
Explor'd the avenue of distant years;
Did those blest eyes th' enchanted scene survey,
Of smiling concord's universal sway ?
And did your hearts with joy exulting burn,
To see her Paradise on earth return ?
Yes ! hallow'd seers ! to you the bliss was given,
To read, unveil'd, the dread decrees of heaven !
You saw th' oppressor's might in judgment hurl'd,
A storm of vengeance on the guilty world !
Beheld his throne revers'd, his empire past,
And peace and joy descend, serene, at last !
So when impetuous winds forget to rave,
And sun-set radiance trembles o'er the wave;
Sweet Eve, advancing o'er the summer-deep,
Charms every billow, ev'ry breeze, to sleep !
Dawn, age of bliss ! but e'er thy morn shall rise,
And waft a train of cherubs from the skies;
The foes of man, who mark their deathful way,
With tears of blood, and earthquakes of dismay;
These, these must fall, a desolating band,
Fall by the darts in Retribution's hand;
And tyrants vanquish'd, humbled in the dust,
Kneel at her shrine, and own the sentence just !
Then wave, oh, Albion! wave thy sword again,
Call thy brave champions to the battle-plain !
Rise, might of nations ! ardent to oppose
The rushing torrent of unpitying foes !
Soon shall they own that freedom's cause inspires,
Undaunted spirit and resistless fires !
Rise ! all combin'd, "in arms, in heart, the same,"
The arms of honor and the heart of flame !
Nor check th' avenging sword, the patriot-spear;
Till stern Ambition falls, in mid career !
Then let the falchion sleep, the combat cease,
The sun of conquest light the path of peace !
Let the green laurel with the palm entwine,
And rear on trophies bright, her firm, eternal shrine !
Dawn, age of bliss ! the wounds of discord close,
Furl the red standard, bid the sword repose !
Then o'er the globe let worshipp'd freedom smile,
Bright as in Albion's truth-illumin'd isle !
Her Grecian temple rear on every shore,
Where every knee shall bend and heart adore !
Queen of the valiant arm, the warrior-breast,
Light of the ocean ! day-star of the west !
Oh ! Albion ! Liberty's immortal fane,
Empress of isles ! palladium of the main !
Tho' thy loud thunders thro' the world resound,
Tho' thy red lightnings flash victorious round;
Tho' nations own, in many a distant clime,
Thy arm triumphant, as thy name sublime;
Rock of the waves ! tho' proud, from zone to zone,
Extend the pillars of thy naval throne;
Around thy coast tho' wild destruction roars,
Yet calm and fertile smile thy favor'd shores;
In emerald verdure blooms thy sunny plain,
And the dark war-blast rolls without—in vain !
Tho' flames of valor, kindling in thine eye,
Brave every storm, and every foe defy;
Yet soft, beneath its milder beam, serene,
Luxuriance blossoms o'er the glowing scene;
Fair laugh thy vales ! no deathful sounds assail,
Mirth warbles free, and music swells the gale;
While firm in might, thy victor-arm extends,
Death to thy foes, and succour to thy friends !
Thus potent Prospero's creative spell
Bade the wild surge in mountain-fury swell;
Call'd up the spirits of the raging deep,
Arous'd the whirlwind, o'er the waves to sweep;
But on th' enchanted isle, his fair domain,
Rais'd the bright vision of the sylphid train;
And bade soft notes, and fairy-warbled airs,
Melt o'er the sense, and lull corroding cares !
Yet, Queen of Isles ! tho' peace, with angel-form,
Smile on thy cliffs, regardless of the storm;
Favor'd of heaven ! e'en thou, tho' distant far,
Hast wept the horrors of relentless war;
E'en thou hast mourn'd o'er many a hero's bier,
Grac'd with thy laurels, hallow'd with thy tear !
For those whose arms, whose blood preserv'd thee free,
"Who would not bleed, O peerless isle ! for thee ?"
For those who, falling on their subject-wave,
Made the dark billow glory's proudest grave;
How oft has anguish taught thy tears to flow,
Thy sighs, despondence, and thine accents, woe !
Yes ! thou hast mourn'd the brave, illustrious dead,
Martyrs for thee, by faith and valor led !
When he, the warrior of the patriot-glow,
Whose ebbing life-blood stain'd Canadian snow;
When thy own Wolfe, by all thy spirit fir'd,
Triumphant fought, exulted, and expir'd;
Gave to thy fame the last, the lingering breath,
The joy in agony, the smile in death,
How swell'd thy heart with blended feeling's tide,
How sorrow paled the kindling cheek of pride !
And the bright garland, purchas'd by his doom,
Seem'd half despoil'd, and withering in its bloom !
Yes ! when thy Nelson, matchless in the fight,
Bade nations own thee of resistless might;
And pouring on their heads destruction's flame,
Clos'd in its dreadful blaze a life of fame;
When the red star of conquest and of pow'r
Beam'd in full zenith on his parting hour;
Dispers'd the shadows of surrounding gloom,
And shed meridian lustre—on his tomb;
Then the sad tears which mourn'd thy gallant son,
Dimm'd the fair trophies by his prowess won;
Then patriot-sighs and consecrated grief,
Embalm'd the memory of th' undaunted chief;
Pale, weeping victory tore her laurel-crown,
And tun'd to sorrow's dirge the clarion of renown !
And thou, firm leader of th' intrepid host,
Which brav'd each peril on Iberia's coast,
Thy name, oh, Moore ! thro' long, succeeding years,
Shall claim the tribute of thy country's tears !
Oh ! firm in faith, in countless dangers prov'd,
In spirit lofty, and by death unmov'd !
Thine was the towering soul, disdaining fear,
And fatal valor, clos'd thy bright career !
Illustrious Leader ! in that hour of fate,
When hope and terror near the suff'rer wait;
When the pale cheek and fading eye proclaim
The last, long struggle of the trembling frame;
When the fierce death-pang vibrates every sense,
And fainting nature shudders in suspense;
E'en then thy bosom felt the patriot-flame,
Still beat the quivering pulse at Albion's name !
In that dread hour thy thoughts to Albion flew,
Thy parting thrill of life, thy latest throb was true !
Illustrious Leader ! on that awful day,
When war and horror frown'd, in dark array;
When vengeance wav'd her fire-flag o'er the slain,
And carnage hover'd o'er Corunna's plain;
Faint with fatigue and streaming with their blood,
How nobly firm thy band of heroes stood !
'Twas their's unmov'd, unconquer'd, to oppose
Pain, famine, danger, and unnumber'd foes !
Nor toil, nor want, nor sickness then subdu'd,
The "Lion-heart" of British fortitude !
E'en then those humbled foes their might deplor'd,
And own'd that conquest wav'd Britannia's sword !
E'en then they fought, intrepid, undismay'd,
Death in their charge and lightning on their blade !
Yes ! warrior-band ! by noblest ardor led,
True to the last, ye triumph'd while ye bled !
Serene in pain, exulting 'midst alarms,
Bold, firm, invincible, your matchless arms !
Then Freedom rear'd her victor-flag on high,
Glow'd in each heart and flash'd from every eye;
England ! thy glory every bosom swell'd,
England ! thy spirit every arm impell'd !
MOORE ! thy bright sun in fame, in victory set,
Tho' dimm'd with tears, tho' clouded with regret !
Yet shall thy trophies rear, to distant time,
High on thy native shore a Cenotaph sublime.
But, ah ! bold Victory ! can thy festal train,
Thy purple streamers, or thy choral strain;
Can thy proud spear, in wreaths immortal drest,
Thy radiant panoply, thy wavy crest;
Can these one grief, one bosom-pang beguile,
Or teach despair one heart-reviving smile ?
Tint the pale cheek with pleasure's mantling hue,
Light the dim eye with joy and lustre new ?
Or check one sigh, one sad, yet fruitless tear,
Fond love devotes to martyr'd valor's bier ?
Lo ! where, with pallid look and suppliant hands,
Near the cold urn th' imploring mother stands !
Fix'd is her eye, her anguish cannot weep !
There all her hopes with youthful virtue sleep !
There sleeps the son, whose op'ning years display'd
Each flatt'ring promise, doom'd so soon to fade.
Too brave, too ardent, on the field he fell,
Fame hover'd near, and Conquest rung his knell.
But could their pomp console her wounded breast,
Dispel one sigh, or lull one care to rest ?
Ah ! suff'ring Parent ! fated still to mourn,
Ah ! wounded heart !—he never shall return.
He fell !—that eye of soft and varying ray,
Where warm expression kindled into day;
Where ardor sparkled, where affection beam'd,
And youth and hope in living lustre stream'd;
That voice belov'd, whose bliss-imparting-tone,
Bade her fond heart its thrilling magic own;
That mantling cheek, where animation glow'd,
Spread the rich bloom, the vivid flush bestow'd;
That brilliant eye is clos'd in shades of night,
That voice is hush'd, that cheek no longer bright !
'Twas her's, when hope
one meteor-beam had giv'n,
"Fair form of light ! sweet fugitive of heav'n !"
To see dark clouds obscure the rainbow-dream,
Watch its pale sun-set, and its closing gleam !
To see the last, the lingering bliss depart,
The lonely Day-star of her widow'd heart !
He fell !—her woe, her soul-consuming grief,
Mourns in no language, seeks for no relief;
Forbids the mind in sympathy to glow,
The voice to murmur, and the tear to flow;
But deep within, enshrin'd in
Dwells on each nerve—and withers life away !
Or see you Orphan-maid, in beauty's bloom,
Fair lovely mourner o'er a Father's tomb !
For him, far distant on the battle-plain,
She pray'd, and wish'd, and wept—alas !—in vain !
No tender friend receiv'd his parting breath,
No filial sweetness cheer'd the hour of death—
For, ah ! when nature most demands to share
The smile of tenderness, the hand of care;
E'en then, deserted on the field, he bled,
Unknown, unmark'd, his gallant spirit fled !
Lo ! where she weeps forlorn, in anguish lost,
A frail Mimosa, blighted by the frost !
Who now shall guard the blossom of her youth,
The gem of innocence, the flower of truth ?
Sweet hapless Maid ! thy only friend is gone,
Hope lingering smiles, and points to heav'n alone !
Ah ! who can tell the thousands doom'd to moan,
Condemn'd by war, to hopeless grief unknown !
Thou, laureate Victor ! when thy blazon'd shield,
Wears the proud emblems of the conquer'd field;
When trophies glitter on thy radiant car,
And thronging myriads hail thee from afar;
When praise attunes her spirit-breathing lyre,
Swells every tone, wakes every chord of fire;
Then could thine eyes each drooping mourner see,
Behold each hopeless anguish, caus'd by thee;
Hear, for each measure of the votive strain,
The rending sigh that murmurs o'er the slain;
See, for each banner fame and victory wave,
Some sufferer bending o'er a soldier's grave;
How would that scene, with grief and horror fraught,
Chill the warm glow, and check th' exulting thought !
E'en in that hour, that gay, triumphal hour,
'Midst the bright pageants of applause and pow'r;
When at thy name th' adoring Pæans rise,
And waft thy deeds in incense to the skies;
Fame in thine eyes, would veil her towering plume,
And victory's laurels lose their fairest bloom !
Power of the ruthless arm, the deathful spear,
Unmov'd, unpitying, in thy dread career;
Whom no sad cries, no mournful scenes impede,
Melt thy proud heart, or curb thy lightning-speed;
Around whose throne malignant spirits wait,
Whose path is ruin, and whose arm is fate !
Stern, dark Ambition ! Typhon of the world !
Thine are the darts, o'er man in vengeance hurl'd !
'Tis thine, where nature smiles with young delight,
With fiery wing, to spread Oppression's blight;
To blast the realms with rich profusion crown'd,
Like the dire Upas, tainting all around !
Thus o'er the southern climes, luxuriant lands,
Where spreads the olive, where the vine expands;
The dread volcano bids the torrent sweep,
Rolls the fierce lava burning down the steep;
Life, beauty, verdure, fated to destroy,
Blast every bloom, and wither every joy !
Sweet orange-groves, with fruits and blossoms fair,
Which breath'd the soul of fragrance on the air;
Vineyards that blush'd, with mantling clusters grac'd,
Gay domes, erected by the hand of taste;
These mingled all in one resistless fire,
Flame to the skies, fair nature's funeral pyre !
Ambition ! vainly wouldst thou gild thy name,
With specious rays of conquest and of fame;
Truth waves her wand ! from her all-piercing eye,
From her Ithuriel-spear, thy glories fly !
In vain to thee may suppliant mercy kneel,
Plead with soft voice, and deprecate the steel !
Look up, with seraph-eye, in tears benign,
Smile thro' each tear, with eloquence divine;
In vain implore thee to relent and spare,
With cherub-mien and soul-dissolving pray'r:
Lost are those accents of melodious charms,
'Midst the loud clangor of surrounding arms;
Thy heart of adamant repels the strain,
Mercy ! thy pray'r, thy tear, thy hope, is vain !
But can remorse , despotic pow'r ! prevail,
And wound thy bosom thro' the "twisted mail ?"
Say, can his frown, by shudd'ring conscience felt,
Pierce the dark soul which mercy cannot melt ?
No, tyrant ! no, when conquest points thy way,
And lights thy track—the blood-path of dismay;
E'en then his darts, tho' barb'd with fiery pain,
Fall from thy woundless heart, averted by disdain !
Pow'r of the ruthless arm ! we see thy form,
Tow'r 'midst the darkness of the gath'ring storm;
We see thy sabre with portentous blaze,
Flash o'er the nations, trembling as they gaze;
And lo ! we hear thine awful voice resound,
While fear and wonder faint, thro' empires round:
"Realms of the globe, submit ! adore my pow'r !
Mine the red falchion, practis'd to devour!
Mine, dark destruction's torch of lucid light,
Mine, her keen scymitar's resistless might !
Chiefs ! patriots ! heroes ! kneeling at my shrine,
Your arms, your laurels, and your fame, resign !
Bend, ye proud isles ! my dread behest obey !
Yield, prostrate nations ! and confess my sway !
Lo ! the bright ensigns of supreme command,
Flame on my brow, and glitter in my hand !
Lo ! at my throne what vanquish'd myriads wait,
My look, decision ! and my sceptre, fate !
Ye lands, ye monarchs ! bow the vassal-knee !
World, thou art mine ! and I alone am free;
For who shall dare, with dauntless heart advance,
Rouse my dread arm, and brave my potent lance ?"
Relentless pow'r ! thy deeds from age to age,
Stain the fair annals of th' impartial page !
O'er the mild beam of order, silvery bright,
Long have thy votaries pour'd the clouds of night,
And chang'd the loveliest realms, where plenty smil'd,
To the lone desert and abandon'd wild !
Ye western regions of a brighter zone,
Ye lands that bow'd at Montezuma's throne;
Where vivid nature wears the richest dyes,
Matur'd to glory by exalting skies;
Scenes of luxuriance ! o'er your blooming pride,
How ruin swept the desolating tide !
When the fierce Cortes pour'd his faithless train,
O'er the gay treasures of your fervid reign;
Taught the pure streams with crimson stains to flow,
Made the rich vales a wilderness of woe !
And swell'd each breeze of soft, ambrosial air,
With cries of death and murmurs of despair !
Peruvian realms ! where wealth resplendent shines,
Thron'd in full glory, 'midst your diamond mines;
Where vegetation spreads her brightest hues,
Nurs'd by soft airs, and balm-descending dews;
Where all his beams, the worshipp'd sun bestows,
And Flora's empire to perfection glows;
O'er your gay plains, ambition spread alarms,
[In the original copy, this and following two lines connected in
right margin by large brace]
When stern Pizarro rush'd with conquering arms,
Despoil'd your wealth, and ravag'd all your charms !
Ferocious leader ! his aspiring soul,
Nor fear could tame, nor social ties control !
Ardent and firm, in countless dangers bold,
Dark—savage—fierce—to faith, to mercy—cold !
Then was the sword to dire oppression giv'n,
Her vulture-wing obscur'd the light of heav'n !
Thro' many a plantain-shade, and cedar-grove,
Where the blest Indian caroll'd joy and love;
The war-note swell'd upon the zephyr's calm,
The wood-nymph, Peace, forsook her bow'rs of palm !
And Freedom fled, to Andes' heights unknown,
Majestic Solitude's primæval throne !
Where Echo sleeps, in loneliness profound,
Hears not a step, nor quivers at a sound !
Yet there the genius of eternal snows,
Mark'd far beneath, a scene of death disclose !
Saw the red combat raging on the plain,
Heard the deep dirge that murmur'd o'er the slain !
While stern Ambition wak'd th' exulting cry,
And wav'd his blazing torch, and meteor-flag, on high !
Yet, ah ! not
there, vindictive pow'r ! alone,
Has lawless carnage rear'd thy towering throne;
For Europe 's polish'd realms, thro' every age,
Have mourn'd thy triumphs and bewail'd thy rage !
Tho' soft refinement there, o'er ev'ry land,
Spread the mild empire of her silver wand;
Erect supreme, her light Corinthian fane,
Tune the sweet lyre, and modulate the strain;
Tho' Genius there, on Rapture's pinions soar,
And worlds of ether and of fire, explore;
There, tho' Religion smile with seraph-eye,
And shed her gifts, like manna, from the sky;
While Faith and Hope, exulting in her sight,
Pour the full noon of glory's living light;
There still Ambition bids his victims bleed,
Still rolls his whirlwind, with destructive speed !
Still in his flame, devoted realms consume,
Fled is their smile and wither'd is their bloom !
With every charm has Nature's lavish hand
Adorn'd, sweet Italy ! thy favor'd land !
There Summer laughs, with glowing aspect fair,
Unfolds her tints, and "waves her golden hair;"
Bids her light sylphs delicious airs convey,
On their soft pinions, waving as they play;
O'er cluster'd grapes, the lucid mantle throw,
And spread gay life in one empurpling glow ?
Paint all the rainbow on perennial flow'rs,
And shed exuberance o'er thy myrtle-bow'rs !
Verdure in ev'ry shade thy woods display,
Where soft gradations melt in light away !
And vernal sweets, in rich profusion blow,
E'en 'midst the reign of solitude and snow !
Yet what avail the bright ambrosial stores,
Which gay redundance o'er thy region pours ?
Devoted land ! from long-departed time,
The chosen theatre of war and crime !
What tho' for thee transcendent suns arise,
The myrtle blossoms, and the zephyr sighs;
What tho' for thee again Arcadia blooms,
And cloudless radiance all thy realm illumes;
There still has Rapine seiz'd her yielding prey,
There still Oppression spreads th' unbounded sway;
There oft has War each blooming charm effac'd,
And left the glowing vale, a bleak, deserted waste !
Is there a land, where halcyon peace has reign'd,
From age to age, in glory unprofan'd ?
Has dwelt serenely in perpetual rest,
"Heav'n in her eye," and mercy in her breast ?
Ah, no ! from clime to clime, with ruthless train,
Has war still ravag'd o'er the blasted plain !
His lofty banner to the winds unfurl'd,
And swept the storm of vengeance o'er the world !
Yet, oh ! stern GOD ! if
ever conscious right,
If ever justice arm'd thee for the fight;
If e'er fair truth approv'd thy dread career,
Smil'd on thy track and curb'd thy deathful spear;
Now may the generous heart exulting see,
Those righteous powers in amity with thee !
never, in a holier cause,
Nor sanction'd e'er by purer, nobler laws;
Has Albion seiz'd the sabre and the shield,
Or rush'd impetuous to th' ensanguin'd field !
Oh ! when that cause triumphant shall prevail,
And Freedom's foes her ark no more assail;
Then might thy smile, sweet Peace ! thy angel-form,
Beam thro' the clouds, and tranquillize the storm !
Lo ! to the Muse's bright, prophetic eyes,
What scenes unfold ! what radiant visions rise !
See hand in hand, and wafted from above,
Celestial Mercy, and angelic love !
Lo ! from the regions of the morning-star,
Descending seraphs bear their sun-bright car !
'High the peaceful streamers wave !
'Lo !' they sing, 'we come to save !
'Come to smile on ev'ry shore,
'Truth and Eden to restore !
'Come, the balm of joy to bring,
'Borne on softest gales of spring !
'Rapture ! swell the choral voice,
'Favor'd earth ! rejoice, rejoice !
'Now the work of death is o'er,
'Sleep, thou sword ! to wake no more !
'Never more Ambition's hand
'Shall wave thee o'er a trembling land !
'Never more, in hopeless anguish,
'Caus'd by thee, shall virtue languish !
'Rapture ! swell the choral voice,
'Favor'd earth, rejoice, rejoice !
'Cease to flow, thou purple flood,
'Cease to fall, ye tears of blood !
'Swell no more the clarion's breath,
'Wake no more the song of death !
'Rise, ye hymns of concord, rise,
'Incense, worthy of the skies !
'Wake the Pæan, tune the voice,
'Favor'd earth, rejoice, rejoice !
'Nature, smile ! thy vivid grace,
'Now no more shall war deface;
'Airs of spring, oh ! sweetly breathe,
'Summer ! twine thy fairest wreath !
warrior's bier to spread,
'Not to crown the
'But with flowers of every hue,
'Love and mercy's path to strew !
'Swell to heaven the choral voice,
'Favor'd earth ! rejoice, rejoice !
'Sleep, Ambition ! rage, expire !
'Vengeance ! fold thy wing of fire !
'Close thy dark and lurid eye,
'Bid thy torch, forsaken, die !
'Furl thy banner, waving proud,
'Dreadful as the thunder-cloud !
'Shall destruction blast the plain ?
'Shall the falchion rage again ?
'Shall the sword thy bands dissever ?
'Never, sweet Affection ! never !
'As the halcyon o'er the ocean,
'Lulls the billow's wild commotion,
'So we bid dissension cease.
'Bloom, O Amaranth of peace !
'Twine the spear with vernal roses !
'Now the reign of discord closes !
'Goddess of th' unconquer'd isles,
'Freedom ! triumph in our smiles !
'Blooming youth, and wisdom hoary,
'Bards of fame, and sons of glory;
'Albion ! pillar of the main !
'Monarchs ! nations ! join the strain !
'Swell to heav'n th' exulting voice;
'Mortals, triumph ! earth, rejoice !'
Oh ! blissful song ! and shall thy notes resound,
While joy and wonder bend entranc'd around ?
And shall thy music float on every breeze,
Melt on the shores and warble o'er the seas ?
Oh ! mercy ! love ! ambassadors of heav'n !
And shall your sunshine to mankind be giv'n ?
Hope ! is thy tale a visionary theme ?
Oh ! smile, supernal pow'r ! and realize the dream !
And thou, the radiant messenger of truth,
Deck'd with perennial charms, unfading youth !
Oh ! thou, whose pinions as they wave, diffuse
All Hybla's fragrance and all Hermon's dews;
Thou ! in whose cause have martyrs died serene,
In soul triumphant, and august in mien !
Oh ! bright Religion ! spread thy spotless robe,
Salvation's mantle, o'er a guilty globe !
Oh ! let thine ark, where'er the billows roll,
Borne on their bosom, float from pole to pole !
Each distant isle and lonely coast explore,
And bear the olive-branch to ev'ry shore !
Come, Seraph ! come: fair pity in thy train,
Shall sweetly breathe her soul-dissolving strain;
While her blue eyes thro' tears benignly beam,
Soft as the moon-light, quivering on the stream !
Come, Seraph ! come, around thy form shall play,
Diffusive glories of celestial day !
Oh ! let each clime thy noon of lustre share,
And rapture hail the perfect and the fair !
Let peace on earth resound from heav'n once more,
And angel-harps th' exulting anthems pour;
While faith, and truth, and holy wisdom bind,
One hallow'd zone—to circle all mankind !
THE WREATH OF LOYALTY.
WRITTEN FOR THE JUBILEE OF THE 25TH OCT. 1809.
"I glory in the name of Briton."
OCTOBER! tho' thy rugged brow,
No vivid wreaths entwine;
Tho' not for thee the zephyr blow,
Tho' not for thee the blossom glow,
Or skies unclouded shine:
Tho' o'er thy dark and russet vest
No rainbow-colors play;
Tho' dim thine eye, tho' cold thy breast,
Yet be thou honor'd, be thou blest,
E'en more than youthful May !
No vernal suns illume thy day,
Fair star of joy ! then brighter beam !
No forest-notes attend thy way,
Then strike the lyre, then make the lay,
To one inspiring theme !
Thy steps may blight the roseate plain,
Thy winds may chill the vale;
Yet, blooming 'midst thy shadowy train,
One radiant morn adorns thy reign;
Hail ! dark October ! hail !
Thine is the day, to Britons dear,
That bids fair Albion dry the tear;
With myrtles wreath her victor-spear,
And ev'ry grief disown.
Oh ! let a people's voice prolong,
Proud Loyalty's triumphal song;
And faith, and truth, and valor, throng
Around Britannia's throne !
That still their monarch's heart may feel
How sweet affections grateful zeal
Still kindle with the patriot flame,
And "glory in a Briton's name !"
O name ! by deeds emblazon'd high,
O name ! exalted to the sky,
O name ! ennobled by the free !
Thou sacred sovereign ! worthy thee !
Then wake, fairest Albion ! awake to rejoice,
To the Pæan of rapture attuning thy voice,
And suspending thy war-song awhile !
Thou hast mourn'd for the great, thou hast wept o'er the brave,
Thou hast bent in despair o'er the Patriot's grave;
But now from thy bosom repressing the sigh,
Dispelling the tear from thy sun-darting eye,
Let ecstacy dawn in thy smile !
Yet the storm is around thee, the hurricane roars;
But Freedom and Loyalty dwell on thy shores,
Defending a Monarch ador'd !
They are true, they are dauntless, their bosoms are mail;
In vain may Ambition their fortress assail;
And bright is their streamer that plays on the breeze
And crimsons the wave, as it floats o'er the seas,
And keen is their fire-flashing sword !
Thy oak shall be firm till the tempest is past;
Majestic it rises, disdaining the blast,
It is proud, independent, supreme !
The nations around thee are cheerless in night,
And hope has extinguished her quivering light !
But the sun-beam of heaven on
thy bosom shall rest,
And the planet of freedom be bright in the west,
Where its ray shall eternally stream !
Thou art like the fair vales, with exuberance crown'd,
Embosom'd in Appenines, cheerless around,
Where dwells Desolation alone !
Thou art like the proud laurel, still blooming and green,
When verdure and life have deserted the scene:
Thou art like a tall column, unmoulder'd by time,
That rises 'midst ruins, imperial, sublime,
So firm is thy rock-pillar'd throne !
Yet the storm is around thee, the hurricane roars;
But valor and loyalty dwell on thy shores,
And long may the guardians remain !
Firm, ardent, intrepid, oh! long may they stand,
The sabre of justice and truth in their hand:
Then the fire-flag of rapine may blaze thro' the air,
The torch of invasion, a comet, may glare,
And the war-tempest threaten—in vain !
O Monarch of Albion ! ador'd by the free !
O temple of Liberty ! queen of the sea !
What Briton but worships your name ?
And where is the spirit that burns not with pride,
For a country to freedom, to glory allied ?
And who would not kindle, exulting in death,
And triumph, and glow, in resigning his breath,
For a King, for a land, so exalted in fame ?
Yes ! ye bands of noble fire,
Dauntless on the plain !
Ye, who firm, in danger try'd,
Thought on England ere ye died,
Mingling blood with Tajo's tide;
Ye, whose memory shall inspire,
Many a bard and many a lyre,
Songs of Spain.
Heroes of Corunna's field !
Ye, who perish'd there,
Be your names for ever dear !
Yes ! tho' dew'd with many a tear,
Yet triumphal was your bier !
Who like you the sword could wield ?
Deathless trophies grace your shield,
Bright and fair !
Ye, who purchas'd, ere ye fell,
Talavera's crown !
Sainted spirits of the brave,
Lo ! immortal o'er your grave,
Glory's amaranth shall wave !
Who your gallant deeds may tell ?
Who may ring your thrilling knell ?
High renown !
Faithful friends, who mourn sincere,
Where the brave repose;
Cold and low the mighty sleep.
Yes ! ye well may sadly weep,
Well desponding vigils keep !
Yet shall kindling pride be near,
Yet shall triumph gild the tear
Love bestows !
By the patriot's holy flame,
Of transcendent rays;
Lyre ! by thy sublimest chord,
Freedom ! by thy shrine ador'd,
Honor ! by thy radiant sword,
O'er the heroes lofty name,
Shall the noon-tide sun of fame
Deathless blaze !
Then let thy tear, O Albion ! shed
Its dew-balm o'er the valiant dead,
"A tear so sad, and yet so proud !"
But let the smile thine eye illume,
But let thy cheek the smile resume,
As the bright rainbow's vivid bloom
Streams o'er the parting cloud !
And form, thy sovereign's brow to shade,
A diadem that shall not fade,
A wreath, of glow eternal !
And there the British oak may shine,
And there let Mercy's palm entwine,
And Science there her bays combine,
That ever shall be vernal!
And come ! ye forms of towering mien,
In graceful dignity serene;
Ye fearless guardians of the state,
Superior to the storms of fate !
And round the British throne attending,
Its arms, its fame, its cause defending;
There, firm in faith, united stand,
Invincible, immortal band !
Thou, Freedom ! with the lightning-eye,
Th' intrepid look, the Lion-heart;
Be there ! unfurl thy flag on high,
And all thy mounting soul impart !
And bid thy living flame expand,
Warm, bright, ethereal, o'er the land.—
Rise, Freedom ! rise, with all thy fires,
When Britain's throne thine aid requires
Come ! in thy proud, refulgent car,
Whose beam is Albion's guiding star;
And wave that sabre, dazzling bright,
Pure, hallow'd, spotless, as the light;
Whose ray for us a sun-beam glows,
Whose flash is lightning on our foes !
Be near, majestic maid ! be near,
Hope in thine eye and justice on thy spear !
And thou, Fidelity ! thou angel-form,
True in the combat, stedfast in the storm;
Whose truth shall beam, celestial, constant, pure,
And 'midst the fiery ordeal, smile secure;
Thou ! with a cincture of Asbestos wove,
Thou queen of friendship, and thou guide of love !
Seraph, be there ! impart thy sacred aid,
Be there ! Britannia's glowing soul pervade !
Unite each heart by thy unchanging laws,
Firm, loyal, bold, in one transcendent cause !
Valor ! thou, whose burning soul,
Kindles, mounts, beyond control;
Thou ! whose ardor death defies;
Rushing to th' immortal prize;
Monarch of the conquering spear,
Dauntless on thy proud career;
Stern defiance on thy crest,
Melting mercy in thy breast;
Thou ! with arms emblazon'd fair,
King of Danger !—be thou there !
Bid thy votaries round thee throng,
Wake thy boldest martial song !
Sing in proud, triumphant lay,
Agincourt's victorious day !
Sing the chief of Acre's fame,
Sing of Maida's brilliant name !
Sing Vimeira's high renown,
Talavera's recent crown !
Be thou there ! with kindling eye,
Peril, toil, and foes defy;
Raise thy beamy falchion high,
Wave thy banner to the sky !
Sound thy clarion thro' the air,
Bid thy ardent sons be there !
Be their watch-word in the fight,
"Brunswick and Albion ! Liberty and Right !!!"
With thee be Fortitude, whose awful mien,
Tow'rs in the blast, collected and serene !
Queen of the cliff ! thy look sublimely braves
Fate's wint'ry blast, affliction's mountain-waves;
Thy lofty heart, secure in ten-fold mail,
Misfortune's arrows may in vain assail !
'Tis thine unchang'd, to meet, with proud disdain,
The spectre-forms of danger and of pain !
In glory's track undaunted to proceed,
To smile and suffer—to exult—and bleed !
Derive new spirit from the tempest rude,
And rise august—exalted—unsubdu'd !
And thou, fair Loyalty ! be still enshrin'd
In every manly heart, each-patriot-mind:
Lo ! in Religion's fane I see thee bend,
I hear thy prayer on fervor's wing ascend !
"While the warm tear-drop glitters on thy cheek,
While faith and hope thy melting eyes bespeak."
"Sovereign of kings ! whose high decree
Controls the storm, subdues the sea !
Who giv'st thy scourge Ambition, pow'r
To spread dismay, his destin'd hour;
To win his blood-stain'd, regal prize,
To reign, to ravage, to chastise;
Look down ! on
him in mercy smile,
The Monarch of
the favor'd Isle!
Undimm'd, unclouded by regret,
May his mild star in glory set !
And peace and joy, with softest ray,
Illume his calm declining day !
Oh ! long extend his hallow'd reign,
Oh ! long his throne august, maintain !
And when, a mourner o'er his bier,
Sad Albion pours the filial tear;
Around may guardian-seraphs wait,
And waft him to a happier state;
Conduct him to a brighter throne,
A realm of peace, a fairer crown;
Enrich'd with many a spotless gem,
Virtue's illustrious diadem !"
THE DYING GLADIATOR.
COMMANDING pow'r ! whose hand with plastic art
Bids the rude stone to grace and being start;
Swell to the waving line the polish'd form,
And only want Promethean fire to warm ;—
Sculpture, exult ! thy triumph proudly see,
The Roman slave immortalized by thee !
No suppliant sighs, no terrors round him wait,
But vanquish'd valor soars above his fate !
In that fix'd eye still proud defiance low'rs,
In that stern look indignant grandeur tow'rs !
He sees e'en death, with javelin barb'd in pain,
A foe but worthy of sublime disdain !
Too firm, too lofty, for one parting tear,
A quiv'ring pulse, a struggle, or a fear !
Oh ! fire of soul ! by servitude disgrac'd,
Perverted courage ! energy debas'd !
Lost Rome ! thy slave, expiring in the dust,
Tow'rs far above Patrician rank, august !
While that proud rank, insatiate, could survey
Pageants that stain'd with blood each festal day !
Oh ! had that arm, which grac'd thy deathful show,
With many a daring feat and nervous blow,
Wav'd the keen sword and rear'd the patriot-shield,
Firm in thy cause, on Glory's laureate field;
Then, like the marble form, from age to age,
His name had liv'd in history's brightest page;
While death had but secur'd the victor's crown,
And seal'd the suffrage of deserv'd renown !
That gen'rous pride, that spirit unsubdu'd,
That soul, with honor's high-wrought sense imbu'd,
Had shone, recorded in the song of fame,
A beam, as now, a
blemish, on thy name !
Yet here, so well has art majestic wrought,
Sublimed expression, and ennobled thought;
A dying Hero we behold, alone,
And Mind's bright grandeur animates the stone !
'Tis not th' Arena's venal champion bleeds,
No ! 'tis some warrior, fam'd for matchless deeds !
Admiring rapture kindles into flame,
Nature and art the palm divided claim !
Nature "exulting in her spirit's pow'r,
To rise victorious in the dreaded hour,"
Triumphs, that death and all his shadowy train,
Assail a mortal's constancy—in vain !
And Art, rejoicing in the work sublime,
Unhurt by all the sacrilege of time,
Smiles o'er the marble, her divine control
Moulded to symmetry, and fir'd with soul !
THE CALL OF LIBERTY.
YE nations of Europe ! arising to war,
And scorning submission to tyranny's might
Oh ! follow the track of my bright blazing car,
Diffusing a path-way of radiance afar,
Dispelling the shadows of night !
And, hark ! the destroyer has summon'd his band,
He waves the proud sceptre, his magical wand;
In legions they rush to the field !
'Tis the voice of destruction that swells in the storm,
The cloud and the tempest envelop his form.
O patriots ! O heroes ! O chiefs of renown !
Awake in my cause, and contend for my crown,
And vict'ry shall hallow your shield !
Oh ! think of your fathers, how nobly they fought !
Disdaining each peril, the combat they sought,
And round me intrepid they stood !
They worshipp'd the beam of my sun-darting eye,
Exalted my banner, all-dreadful, on high;
'Twas their pillar of glory ! and kindling with pride,
Around it they conquer'd, around it they died,
And ting'd the bright streamer in blood !
To you is intrusted the fire-flashing sword,
For ages defended, for ages ador'd;
The sword that has slumber'd too long !
'Tis the weapon of Liberty ! sacred its aid,
For heav'n, truth, and justice, have hallow'd the blade;
Oh ! seize it with ecstacy, wield it, ye brave !
Oh ! seize it to punish, to conquer, to save !
Oh, hail it, ye minstrels, in song !
Fair, dazzling, unblemish'd, its lustre is pure,
For martyrs have died to preserve it secure,
And heroes to guard it have bled !
'Twas this that illumin'd the fields of the fight,
When the Chief of Vimeira was matchless in might;
In lightning effulgence at Baylen it stream'd,
At Corunna, the zenith of glory, it beam'd
O'er the warrior, the patriot, the dead!
O Albion ! my throne, and my temple of rest,
Fair light of the waves ! lovely star of the west !
Ever steady, resplendent, the same;
Thou shrine of my spirit ! thou land of my heart !
Where life, inspiration, and hope I impart;
Behold where my cynosure brilliant appears,
And beams thro' the mist-veil of darkness and tears,
To guide thee to conquest and fame !
Oh ! thou art my guardian ! supreme o'er the sea !
Still foremost, undaunted, to combat for me,
Thou planet ! thou empress of isles !
Oh ! fearless in danger, awake at my call:
Shall the standard, the altar of Liberty, fall ?
No, never, fair queen ! while thy sons of the main,
My trophies, my rights, and my banners maintain,
And live in the heav'n of my smiles !
Ye nations of Europe ! all rous'd by alarms,
Oh ! imitate Albion, the peerless in arms,
Who kindles my torch from afar !
Her children are mine, an invincible band,
My look is the sun-beam that brightens their land !
And never, oh ! never, that sun-beam shall cease,
And ne'er shall the light of my presence decrease,
While they follow my bright blazing car !
O Austrian warriors ! who rise in my cause,
Ye fight with my falchion, ye fight for my laws !
And your's is the armour of right !
Then rush to the battle-field, scorning a fear,
And Justice and Freedom shall frown on your spear;
In valor, in truth, and in ardor the same,
All kindling with energy, breathing with flame,
Ye shall conquer—a torrent of might !
The slain shall exult in resigning their breath,
They shall smile, they shall burn, they shall triumph in death;
And who might not envy their bier ?
The living, victorious, shall strew o'er their tomb
The garlands of conquest, unfading in bloom;
And glory's fair Amaranth proudly shall wave,
In beauty unsullied adorning their grave,
Too bright to be stain'd with a tear !
And you, brave Iberians ! oh ! ever disdain,
The sword of oppression; and tyranny's chain !
Be free, gallant Spaniards, or die !
For you, when surrounded by darkness and foes,
The day-spring of Freedom in radiance arose:
Tho' shadows and clouds may obscure it awhile,
Oh ! yet it may brighten, oh ! yet it may smile,
And beam in meridian on high !
But where is the patriot, undaunted and bold,
Whose name is immortal, whose deeds are enroll'd
On adamant, high in my fame ?
My Palafox ! oft must I weep to recal
Thy trophies, my hero ! thy fame, and thy fall !
Thy sabre was lightning ! thy spirit was fire !
Thy arm and thy bosom 'twas mine to inspire,
Young martyr to glory and Spain !
O Heav'n ! when he fought undismay'd by my side,
Why, why was thine aid, was thine armour deny'd ?
Were justice and vengeance no more ?
Yet, yet let me hope that the flame of his soul
Will burn in his countrymen, scorning control;
The foes of mankind and religion consume,
The dark'ning horizon of Europe illume,
And the days of her triumph restore !
Ye realms and ye nations, your legions unite !
Oh ! righteous and hallow'd your war !
Unfurl the red standard, fair Hope is your light,
And this be your watch-word in danger and fight,
"O Liberty ! thou art our star !"
TO MY ELDEST BROTHER,
WITH THE BRITISH ARMY IN PORTUGAL.
HOW many a day, in various hues array'd,
Bright with gay sun-shine, or eclips'd with shade;
How many an hour, on silent wing is past,
O my lov'd brother ! since we saw thee last !
Since then has childhood ripen'd into youth,
And Fancy's dreams have fled from sober truth;
Her splendid fabricks melting into air,
As sage Experience wav'd the wand of care !
Yet still thine absence wakes the tender sigh,
And the tear trembles in Affection's eye !
When shall me meet again ? with glowing ray
Heart-soothing Hope illumes some future day;
Checks the sad thought, beguiles the starting tear,
And sings benignly still—that day is near !
She, with bright eye, and soul-bewitching voice,
Wins us to smile, inspires us to rejoice;
Tells, that the hour approaches, to restore
Our cherish'd wanderer to his home once more;
Where sacred ties his manly worth endear,
To faith still true, affection still sincere !
Then the past woes, the future's dubious lot,
In that blest meeting shall be
all forgot !
And Joy's full radiance gild that sun-bright hour,
Tho' all around th' impending storm should low'r !
Now distant far, amidst th' intrepid host,
Albion's firm sons, on Lusitania's coast;
"That gallant band, in countless danger try'd,
Where Glory's pole-star beams their constant guide;"
Say, do thy thoughts, my brother ! fondly stray
To Cambria's vales and mountains far away ?
Does fancy oft in busy day-dreams roam,
And paint the greeting that awaits at home ?
Does memory's pencil oft, in mellowing hue,
Dear social scenes, departed joys renew;
In softer tints delighting to retrace,
Each tender image and each well-known face ?
Yes ! wanderer, yes ! thy spirit flies to those,
Whose love unalter'd, warm and faithful glows !
Oh ! could that love, thro' life's eventful hours,
Illume thy scenes and strew thy path with flow'rs !
Perennial joy should harmonize thy breast,
No struggle rend thee, and no cares molest !
But tho' our tenderness can but bestow,
The wish, the hope, the prayer, averting woe;
Still shall it live, with pure, unclouded flame,
In storms, in sun-shine, far and near—the same !
Still dwell enthron'd within th' unvarying heart,
And firm, and
vital —but with life depart !
Bronwhilfa, 8th Feb. 1811.
THE DOMESTIC AFFECTIONS.
WHENCE are those tranquil joys, in mercy giv'n,
To light the wilderness with beams of Heav'n ?
To sooth our cares, and thro' the cloud diffuse,
Their tempered sun-shine, and celestial hues ?
Those pure delights, ordain'd on life to throw
Gleams of the bliss ethereal natures know ?
Say, do they grace Ambition's regal throne,
When kneeling myriads call the world his own ?
Or dwell with luxury, in th' enchanted bow'rs,
Where taste and wealth exert
creative pow'rs ?
Favor'd of Heav'n ! O Genius ! are they thine,
When round thy brow the wreaths of glory shine;
While rapture gazes on thy radiant way,
'Midst the bright realms of clear and mental day ?
No ! sacred joys ! 'tis yours to dwell enshrin'd,
Most fondly cherish'd, in the purest mind;
To twine with flowers, those lov'd, endearing ties,
On earth so sweet,—so perfect in the skies !
Nurs'd on the lap of solitude and shade,
The violet smiles, embosom'd in the glade;
There sheds her spirit on the lonely gale,
Gem of seclusion ! treasure of the vale !
Thus, far retir'd from life's tumultuous road,
Domestic bliss has fix'd her calm abode,
Where hallow'd innocence and sweet repose
May strew her shadowy path with many a rose:
As, when dread thunder shakes the troubled sky,
The cherub, infancy, can close its eye,
And sweetly smile, unconscious of a tear,
While viewless angels wave their pinions near;
Thus, while around the storms of discord roll,
Borne on resistless wing, from pole to pole;
While war's red lightnings desolate the ball,
And thrones and empires in destruction fall;
Then, calm as evening on the silvery wave,
When the wind slumbers in the ocean-cave,
She dwells, unruffled, in her bow'r of rest,
Her empire, home !—her throne, affection's breast !
For her, sweet nature wears her loveliest blooms,
And softer sun-shine ev'ry scene illumes.
When spring awakes the spirit of the breeze,
Whose light wing undulates the sleeping seas;
When summer, waving her creative wand,
Bids verdure smile, and glowing life expand;
Or autumn's pencil sheds, with magic trace,
O'er fading loveliness, a moon-light grace;
Oh ! still for her, thro' Nature's boundless reign,
No charm is lost, no beauty blooms in vain;
While mental peace, o'er ev'ry prospect bright,
Throws mellowing tints, and harmonizing light !
Lo ! borne on clouds, in rushing might sublime,
Stern winter, bursting from the polar clime,
Triumphant waves his signal-torch on high,
The blood-red meteor of the northern sky !
And high thro' darkness rears his giant-form,
His throne, the billow !—and his flag, the storm !
Yet then, when bloom and sun-shine are no more,
And the wild surges foam along the shore;
Domestic bliss !
thy heaven is still serene,
Thy star, unclouded, and thy myrtle, green !
Thy fane of rest
no raging storms invade,
Sweet peace is thine, the seraph of the shade !
Clear thro' the day, her light around thee glows,
And gilds the midnight of thy deep repose !
Hail, sacred home ! where soft Affection's hand,
With flow'rs of Eden twines her magic band !
Where pure and bright, the social ardors rise,
Concentring all their holiest energies !
When wasting toil has dimm'd the vital flame,
And ev'ry power deserts the sinking frame;
Exhausted nature still from sleep implores
The charm that lulls, the manna that restores !
Thus, when oppress'd with rude tumultuous cares,
To thee, sweet home ! the fainting mind repairs;
Still to thy breast, a wearied pilgrim, flies,
Her ark of refuge from uncertain skies !
Bower of repose ! when torn from all we love,
Thro' toil we struggle, or thro' distance rove;
To thee we turn, still faithful, from afar,
Thee, our bright vista ! thee, our magnet-star !
And from the martial field, the troubled sea,
Unfetter'd thought still roves to bliss and thee !
When ocean-sounds in awful slumber die,
No wave to murmur, and no gale to sigh;
Wide o'er the world, when peace and midnight reign,
And the moon trembles on the sleeping main;
At that still hour, the sailor wakes to keep,
'Midst the dead calm, the vigil of the deep !
No gleaming shores his dim horizon hound,
All heaven—and sea—and solitude—around !
Then, from the lonely deck, the silent helm,
From the wide grandeur of the shadowy realm;
Still homeward borne, his fancy unconfin'd,
Leaving the worlds of ocean far behind,
Wings like a meteor-flash her swift career,
To the lov'd scene, so distant, and so dear !
Lo ! the rude whirlwind rushes from its cave,
And danger frowns—the monarch of the wave !
Lo ! rocks and storms the striving bark repel,
And death and shipwreck ride the foaming swell !
Child of the ocean ! is thy bier the surge,
Thy grave the billow, and the wind thy dirge ?
Yes ! thy long toils, thy weary conflicts o'er,
No storm shall wake, no perils rouse thee more !
Yet, in that solemn hour, that awful strife,
The struggling agony for death or life;
E'en then, thy mind, embitt'ring ev'ry pain,
Retrac'd the image so belov'd—in vain !
Still to sweet home, thy
last regrets were true,
Life's parting sigh—the murmur of adieu !
Can war's dread scenes the hallow'd ties efface,
Each tender thought, each fond remembrance chase ?
Can fields of carnage, days of toil, destroy
The lov'd impressions of domestic joy ?
Ye day-light dreams ! that cheer the soldier's breast,
In hostile climes, with spells benign and blest;
Sooth his brave heart, and shed your glowing ray,
O'er the long march, thro' desolation's way;
Oh ! still ye bear him from th' ensanguin'd plain,
Armour's bright flash, and victory's choral strain;
To that lov'd home, where pure affection glows,
That shrine of bliss ! asylum of repose !
When all is hush'd—the rage of combat past,
And no dread war-note swells the moaning blast;
When the warm throb of many a heart is o'er,
And many an eye is clos'd—to wake no more;
Lull'd by the night-wind, pillow'd on the ground,
"The dewy death-bed of his comrades round !"
While o'er the slain the tears of midnight weep,
Faint with fatigue, he sinks in slumbers deep !
E'en then, soft visions, hov'ring round, portray,
The cherish'd forms that o'er his bosom sway !
He sees fond transport light each beaming face,
Meets the warm tear-drop, and the long embrace !
While the sweet welcome vibrates thro' his heart,
"Hail, weary soldier ! —never more to part !"
And, lo ! at last, releas'd from ev'ry toil,
He comes ! the wanderer views his native soil !
Then the bright raptures, words can
Flash in his eye, and mantle o'er his cheek !
Then love and friendship, whose unceasing pray'r,
Implor'd for him, each guardian-spirit's care;
Who, for his fate, thro' sorrow's lingering year,
Had prov'd each thrilling pulse of hope and fear;
In that blest moment, all the past forget,
Hours of suspense ! and vigils of regret !
And, oh ! for him, the child of rude alarms,
Rear'd by stern danger, in the school of arms;
How sweet to change the war-song's pealing note,
For woodland-sounds, in summer-air that float !
Thro' vales of peace, o'er mountain-wilds to roam,
And breathe his native gales, that whisper—"Home !"
Hail ! sweet endearments of domestic ties,
Charms of existence ! angel-sympathies !
Tho' pleasure smile, a soft, Circassian queen !
And guide her votaries thro' a fairy scene;
Where sylphid forms beguile their vernal hours,
With mirth and music, in Arcadian bow'rs;
Tho' gazing nations hail the fiery car,
That bears the son of conquest from afar;
While Fame's loud Pæan bids his heart rejoice,
And ev'ry life-pulse vibrates to her voice;
Yet from your source
alone , in mazes bright,
Flows the full current of serene delight !
On Freedom's wing, that ev'ry wild explores,
Thro' realms of space, th' aspiring eagle soars !
Darts o'er the clouds, exulting to admire,
Meridian glory—on her throne of fire !
Bird of the sun ! his keen, unwearied gaze,
Hails the full noon, and triumphs in the blaze !
But soon, descending from his height sublime,
Day's burning fount, and light's empyreal clime;
Once more he speeds to joys more calmly blest,
'Midst the dear inmates of his lonely nest !
Thus Genius, mounting on his bright career,
Thro' the wide regions of the mental sphere;
And proudly waving, in his gifted hand,
O'er Fancy's worlds, Invention's plastic wand;
Fearless and firm, with lightning-eye surveys
The clearest heav'n of intellectual rays !
Yet, on his course tho' loftiest hopes attend,
And kindling raptures aid him to ascend;
"While in his mind, with high-born grandeur fraught,
Dilate the noblest energies of thought ;"
Still, from the bliss, ethereal and refin'd,
Which crowns the soarings of triumphant mind,
At length he flies, to that serene retreat,
Where calm and pure, the mild affections meet;
Embosom'd there, to feel and to impart,
The softer pleasures of the social heart !
Ah ! weep for those, deserted and forlorn,
From ev'ry tie, by fate relentless torn !
See, on the barren coast, the lonely isle,
Mark'd with no step, uncheer'd by human smile;
Heart-sick and faint, the shipwreck'd wanderer stand,
Raise the dim eye, and lift the suppliant hand !
Explore with fruitless gaze the billowy main,
And weep—and pray—and linger !—but in vain !
Thence, roving wild thro' many a depth of shade !
Where voice ne'er echo'd, footstep never stray'd;
He fondly seeks, o'er cliffs and deserts rude,
Haunts of mankind, 'midst realms of solitude !
And pauses oft, and sadly hears alone,
The wood's deep sigh, the surge's distant moan !
All else is hush'd ! so silent, so profound,
As if some viewless power, presiding round,
With mystic spell, unbroken by a breath,
Had spread for ages the repose of death !
Ah ! still the wanderer, by the boundless deep,
Lives but to watch,—and watches but to weep !
He sees no sail in faint perspective rise,
His the dread loneliness of sea and skies !
Far from his cherish'd friends, his native shore,
Banish'd from being—to return no more;
There must he die !—within that circling wave,
That lonely isle—his prison and his grave !
Lo! thro' the waste, the wilderness of snows,
With fainting step, Siberia's exile goes !
Homeless and sad, o'er many a polar wild,
Where beam, or flower, or verdure, never smil'd;
Where frost and silence hold their despot-reign,
And bind existence in eternal chain !
Child of the desert ! pilgrim of the gloom !
Dark is the path which leads thee to the tomb !
While on thy faded cheek, the arctic air
Congeals the bitter tear-drop of despair !
Yet not, that fate condemns thy closing day,
In that stern clime, to shed its parting ray;
Not that fair Nature's loveliness find light,
No more shall beam enchantment on thy sight;
Ah ! not for
this , far, far beyond relief,
Deep in thy bosom dwells the hopeless grief;
But that no friend of kindred heart is there,
Thy woes to meliorate, thy toils to share;
That no mild soother fondly shall assuage
The stormy trials of thy lingering age;
No smile of tenderness, with angel-power,
Lull the dread pangs of dissolution's hour;
For this alone, despair, a withering guest,
Sits on thy brow, and cankers in thy breast !
Yes ! there, e'en there, in that tremendous clime,
Where desert-grandeur frowns, in pomp sublime;
Where winter triumphs, thro' the polar night,
In all his wild magnificence of might;
E'en there , Affection's hallow'd spell might pour,
The light of heav'n around th' inclement shore !
And, like the vales with bloom and sun-shine grac'd,
That smile, by circling Pyrennees embrac'd,
Teach the pure heart, with vital fires to glow,
E'en 'midst the world of solitude and snow !
The Halcyon's charm, thus dreaming fictions feign,
With mystic power, could tranquillize the main;
Bid the loud wind, the mountain-billow sleep,
And peace and silence brood upon the deep !
And thus, Affection, can
thy voice compose
The stormy tide of passions and of woes;
Bid every throb of wild emotion cease,
And lull misfortune in the arms of peace !
Oh ! mark yon drooping form, of aged mien,
Wan, yet resign'd, and hopeless, yet serene !
Long ere victorious time had sought to chase
The bloom, the smile, that once illum'd his face;
That faded eye was dimm'd with many a care,
Those waving locks were silver'd by despair !
Yet filial love can pour the sovereign balm,
Assuage his pangs, his wounded spirit calm !
He, a sad emigrant ! condemn'd to roam
In life's pale autumn from his ruin'd home;
Has borne the shock of peril's darkest wave,
Where joy—and hope—and fortune—found a grave !
'Twas his, to see destruction's fiercest band,
Rush, like a TYPHON, on his native land,
And roll, triumphant, on their blasted way,
In fire and blood—the deluge of dismay !
Unequal combat rag'd on many a plain,
And patriot-valour wav'd the sword—in vain !
Ah ! gallant exile ! nobly, long, he bled,
Long brav'd the tempest gath'ring o'er his head !
Till all was lost ! and horror's darkening eye,
Rous'd the stern spirit of despair—to die !
Ah ! gallant exile ! in the storm that roll'd
Far o'er his country, rushing uncontroll'd;
The flowers that grac'd his path with loveliest bloom,
Torn by the blast—were scatter'd on the tomb !
When carnage burst, exulting in the strife,
The bosom ties that bound his soul to life;
Yet one was spar'd ! and she, whose filial smile,
Can sooth his wanderings, and his tears beguile,
E'en then, could temper, with divine relief,
The wild delirium of unbounded grief;
And whisp'ring peace, conceal, with duteous art,
Her own deep sorrows in her inmost heart !
And now, tho' time, subduing ev'ry trace,
Has mellow'd all, he
Oft will the wanderer's tears in silence flow,
Still sadly faithful to remember'd woe !
Then she, who feels a father's pang alone,
"Still fondly struggling to suppress
her own ; "
With anxious tenderness is ever nigh,
To chase the image that awakes the sigh !
Her angel-voice his hinting soul can raise
To brighter visions of celestial days !
And speak of realms, where virtue's wing shall soar
On eagle-plume—to wonder and adore !
And friends, divided here, shall meet at last,
Unite their kindred souls—and smile on all the past !
Yes ! we may hope, that Nature's deathless ties,
Renew'd, refin'd—shall triumph in the skies !
Heart-soothing thought ! whose lov'd, consoling pow'r,
With seraph-dreams can gild reflection's hour;
Oh ! still be near ! and bright'ning thro' the gloom,
Beam and ascend ! the day-star of the tomb !
And smile for those, in sternest ordeals prov'd,
Those lonely hearts, bereft of all they lov'd !
Lo ! by the couch, where pain and chill disease,
In ev'ry vein the ebbing life-blood freeze;
Where youth is taught, by stealing, slow decay,
Life's closing lesson—in its dawning day;
Where beauty's rose is with'ring ere its prime,
Unchang'd by sorrow—and unsoil'd by time;
There, bending still, with fix'd and sleepless eye,
There, from her child, the mother learns—to die !
Explores, with fearful gaze, each mournful trace
Of ling'ring sickness in the faded face;
Thro' the sad night, when ev'ry hope is fled,
Keeps her lone vigil by the suff'rer's bed;
And starts each morn, as deeper marks declare
The spoiler's hand—the blight of death—is there !
He comes ! now feebly in th' exhausted frame,
Slow, languid, quiv'ring, burns the vital flame !
From the glaz'd eye-ball sheds its parting ray,
Dim, transient spark ! that flutt'ring, fades away !
Faint beats the hov'ring pulse, the trembling heart,
Yet fond existence lingers—ere she part !
'Tis past ! the struggle and the pang are o'er,
And life shall throb with agony no more !
While o'er the wasted form, the features pale,
Death's awful shadows throw their silvery veil !
Departed spirit ! on this earthly sphere,
Tho' poignant suff'ring mark'd thy short career;
Still could maternal love beguile thy woes,
And hush thy sighs—an angel of repose !
But who may charm
her sleepless pang to rest,
Or draw the thorn that rankles in her breast ?
And while she bends in silence o'er thy bier,
Assuage the grief, too heart-sick for a tear ?
Visions of hope ! in loveliest hues array'd,
Fair scenes of bliss ! by Fancy's hand portray'd;
And were ye doom'd, with false, illusive smile,
With flatt'ring promise, to enchant awhile ?
And are ye vanish'd, never to return,
Set in the darkness of the mouldering urn ?
Will no bright hour departed joys restore ?
Shall the sad parent meet her child no more;
Behold no more the soul-illumin'd face,
Th' expressive smile, the animated grace ?
Must the fair blossom, wither'd in the tomb,
Revive no more in loveliness and bloom ?—
Descend, blest Faith ! dispel the hopeless care,
And chase the gathering phantoms of despair !
Tell, that the flow'r, transplanted in its morn,
Enjoys bright Eden, freed from every thorn;
Expands to milder suns, and softer dews;
The full perfection of immortal hues !
Tell, that when mounting to her native skies,
By death releas'd, the parent-spirit flies;
There shall the child, in anguish mourn'd so long,
With rapture hail her, 'midst the cherub-throng;
And guide her pinion, on exulting flight,
Thro' glory's boundless realms, and worlds of living light !
Ye gentle spirits of departed friends !
If e'er on earth your buoyant wing descends;
If, with benignant care; ye linger near,
To guard the objects in existence dear;
If hov'ring o'er, ethereal band ! ye view
The tender sorrows, to
your memory true;
Oh ! in the musing hour, at midnight deep,
While for your loss Affection wakes to weep;
While ev'ry sound in hallow'd stillness lies,
But the low murmur of her plaintive sighs;
Oh ! then, amidst that holy calm, be near !
Breathe your light whisper softly in her ear !
With secret spells, her wounded mind compose,
And chase the faithful tear—for you that flows !
Be near ! when moon-light spreads the charm you lov'd,
O'er scenes where once your
earthly footstep rov'd !
Then, while she wanders o'er the sparkling dew,
Thro' glens, and wood-paths, once endear'd by you;
And fondly lingers, in your fav'rite bow'rs,
And pauses oft, recalling former hours;
Then wave your pinion o'er each well-known vale,
Float in the moon-beam, sigh upon the gale !
Bid your wild symphonies remotely swell,
Borne by the summer-wind, from grot and dell;
And touch your viewless harps, and sooth her soul,
With soft enchantments and divine control !
Be near ! sweet guardians ! watch her sacred rest,
When slumber folds her in his magic vest !
Around her, smiling, let your forms arise
Return'd in dreams, to bless her mental eyes !
Efface the mem'ry of your last farewell,
Of glowing joys, of radiant prospects, tell !
The sweet communion of the past, renew,
Reviving former scenes, array'd in softer hue !
Be near, when death, in virtue's brightest hour,
Calls up each pang, and summons all his pow'r !
Oh ! then, transcending Fancy's loveliest dream,
Then let your forms, unveil'd, around her beam !
Then waft the vision of unclouded light,
A burst of glory, on her closing sight !
Wake from the harp of heav'n th' immortal strain,
To hush the final agonies of pain !
With rapture's flame, the parting soul illume,
And smile triumphant thro' the shadowy gloom !
Oh ! still be near ! when, darting into day,
Th' exulting spirit leaves her bonds of clay;
Be yours to guide her flutt'ring wing on high,
O'er many a world, ascending to the sky !
There let your presence, once her earthly joy,
Tho' dimm'd with tears, and clouded with alloy;
Now form her bliss on that celestial shore,
Where death shall sever kindred hearts no more !
Yes ! in the noon of that Elysian clime,
Beyond the sphere of anguish, death, or time;
Where mind's bright eye, with renovated fire,
Shall beam on glories—never to expire;
Oh ! there, th' illumin'd soul may fondly trust,
More pure, more perfect, rising from the dust;
Those mild affections, whose consoling light
Sheds the soft moon-beam on terrestrial night;
Sublim'd, ennobled, shall for ever glow,
Exalting rapture—not assuaging woe !