from saint nicholas to fanny to clem
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newport petrarch's sonnett charles elphinstone
It was the opening spring-time of the year, When captives struggle most to break their chains, And brooks let loose, and swelling buds, appear, And youthful blood seems starting from the veins, When Henry Mildmay, in his breakfast hall, Had press'd good morrow on each daughter's lip, And, seated at the board, his children all, By concert, urg'd him for a summer trip. "One at a time, for pity's sake, my dears," Half laughing, half provok'd, at length he said, "This babylonish din about my ears Confounds my brain, and nearly splits my head." And well might Henry of the rout complain That broke the comfort of his morning meal; For tongues, as wild as colts that spurn the rein, Maintain'd, in loud debate, a ceaseless peal. Three clamorous girls, as many boisterous boys, All straining at their topmost voice to speak, In ev'ry tone, from childhood's piping noise To incipient manhood's mingled growl and squeak, With two cag'd songsters of Canary's brood, Both emulous to join their thrilling strains--- All this might well provoke the gentlest mood, And raise a tumult in the coolest brains. "Why should you wish," continued he, "to roam, In fancied pleasure's quest, the country round, And leave the solid comforts of your home, Where all that reason can desire is found? 'Tis not for health impair'd, or hearts depress'd, Or spirits burden'd by a load of care Your minds require no tone-restoring rest, Your bodies need no change of scene or air. This lawn, these trees and shrubs, your senses cheer When summer heats prevail, and close in view A noble city rises; so that here You may enjoy the town and country too." "Oh dear papa," cried Kate, the eldest child, "Indeed, indeed, you are mistaken quite; We are sick to death of home, and almost wild Of somewhat else on earth to get a sight. How often on your accents have we hung When of your youth's adventures you have told; And why should not we store our minds, while young, With things of which to think and speak when old? Why should we dose at home, when all the world, With former times compar'd, seems rous'd from sleep; In steamboats dashing, or in rail-cars hurl'd, Or in swift vessels bounding o'er the deep? How would it make our snail-pac'd fathers stare To see the rate at which we go; and soon, I trust, we shall ascend the fields of air, And make our yearly visits to the moon"--- "Yes, to the paradise of fools," cried he, "This gadding generation's proper place. I do protest it makes me mad to see The restless rambling of the present race. Now, rough mechanics leave their work undone, And, with pert milliners and prentice youth, To some gay, throng'd resort away they run, To cure dyspepsia or ennui, forsooth! That idle, pamper'd wealth should gladly haste To try the traveller's miseries, may be right: The sickly palate needs some pungent taste To cure the nausea that mere sweets excite. Nor would I honor from the man withhold Whom searching science bids to distant shores; Who, to extend her empire, constant, bold, The works of Nature and of Art explores. Much pleasure, too, there is in change of scene, When streams glide smoothly, and the skies are bright; The towering mountains and the valleys green, Impress the thoughtful mind with pure delight. But, that the highest pleasures which we know In all these idle jaunts, I will maintain, Is hope that lures us when at first we go, And heartfelt joy at coming home again." "Why dearest father, sure your reasoning's scope But tends your very purpose to destroy; What happier life than one led on by hope, And which, at last, concludes with heartfelt joy?" "Poh, poh, what nonsense!" was the sole reply That to this brisk retort her father made, With half a smile, and twinkle of the eye That spoke---"You are a darling saucy jade." When dear-lov'd daughters, for some trivial prize, Against a widow'd father's voice contend, How fierce soe'er the strife may seem to rise, All know in whose behalf it soon will end. The promise worded in a doubtful guise,--- "Well, well, soon as the season comes, we'll see"--- Brought instant pleasure's lightning to their eyes, And fill'd each bounding heart with hopeful glee. At length, that all should go, it was agree'd; Though Henry knew full well the weighty charge 'Twould be, on purse and patience both, to lead Afar from home a troop so wild and large. But all their pleasure would be turn'd to pain, If one or more, selected from the rest, Were doom'd, all sad and quiet, to remain, While they with constant change and chance were blest. For this was all they wish'd, nor did they care If they went North or South, or East or West; And gladly left their father to declare Which course he deem'd the pleasantest and best. And soon, without a murmur, 'twas resolv'd The noble Hudson's waters to ascend, When vernal clouds and damps should be dissolv'd And summer's balmy breath their voyage befriend. Fair cloudless day-spring of our early youth! How seem we then to think 'twill ne'er be night! How ev'ry fancied form we take for truth! How all the distance gleams with roseate light! Nor let foreboding Prudence sigh with pain To see the dangers of youth's rash career, Nor grieve that brightest hopes may beam in vain, Soon to be quench'd in disappointment's tear. In bounteous Nature's works we ever see Apparent waste, and fruitless efforts find: How many a blossom of the goodliest tree Is idly scatter'd by the wanton wind! And are these fruitless flowers abortive quite? Has Nature bid them bloom and fall in vain? No; ere they perish, they impart delight; And plenteous fruits in embryo still remain. If dearest hopes that fill the youthful mind, And joys of fairest promise, end in gloom, Yet still, successive hopes we ever find, And other joys, upspringing in their room. No, let not frigid age regard with scorn The youthful spirit's warm outbreakings wild: How many a hero to the world is born Whose deeds are but the reckless darings of a child!
The sun had reach'd, at length, his northern goal; Fierce wintry storms were chang'd to summer showers; Soft zephyrs through the rustling foliage stole; And dews of evening cheer'd the drooping flowers. The day was fix'd on when they should depart; And all their buoyant spirits were alive, Like high-bred coursers straining on the start, Distracted for the moment to arrive. All their equipments had the young folk made; And gather'd such a vast and varied store As would suffice a merchant for his trade, Or fit them all the world to travel o'er. "Young travellers," said their father, "all are so: Learn, learn, betimes, my children, to beware Of grasping much, while through this world you go; You only gain embarrassment and care. Believe me, 'twill require your keenest looks To guard the smallest parcel you may need: Then leave your extra wardrobes, and your books, Scarce one of which you'll have the time to read." Too happy were their spirits, to complain; And 'twas agreed that many a coat and vest And well-fill'd trunk and basket should remain, And ev'ry bandbox too, the traveller's pest. To Charles, the eldest son, it was assign'd To watch the baggage; he was strong and large; And Kate, with all her rattling, sweet and kind, Had little Sue and Meg beneath her charge. William and John were of that age when boys Are rude in mind and awkward in their forms; When love of fun, of playful strife and noise, Seems the one passion which their bosom warms. The long expected day arriv'd at last. The oppressive atmosphere was damp and warm. The horison, in the West, was overcast. The sky foretold an evening thunder storm. Their father said the jaunt should be deferr'd Until the storm was o'er and skies were clear; And, of his children's murmurs, not a word, To swerve him from his purpose, would he hear: He thought, in quest of pleasure, 'twas absurd To rush on scenes of peril and of fear. Not so the youthful troop; to them, delay Of promis'd pleasure was a serious pain: No threaten'd danger could have stopp'd their way: They look'd on distant trouble with disdain. But, long ere night, the boded storm growl'd hoarse; Still gathering rage, more threat'ning and more loud. The southern breeze, that strove to stay its course, To fury fann'd the dense and lurid cloud--- "Down with the windows, run, here comes the gust, Quick, quick, the wind has veer'd---See! what a flash!" Scarce Henry spoke, when came the smothering dust, A torrent next, and thunder, crash on crash: No interval between the light and sound; So sharp and near was ev'ry awful stroke. From cloud to cloud the echoes roll'd around, And, far off, into angry murmurs broke. Good Henry, with a look devoid of fear, His children, from the walls and windows stay'd; Yet taught them not to cower at danger near, But gaze upon the lightning as it play'd. 'Tis well that violence soon spends its power; And well that we forget our fear and pain. The storm that rag'd was but a summer-shower; And all, ere long, was peace and joy again. The birds sang out; the setting sun was bright; The diamond rain-drops glitter'd on the green; The clouds were stain'd with gorgeous tints of light; A lofty rainbow crown'd the magic scene. The morn succeeding shone forth heav'nly fair: The western breeze was cool, but gently blew. Some pearl-bright clouds sailed softly, through the air, And made more deep the deep cerulean hue. None can describe the bustle, noise and rout, The various sounds from ev'ry throat that pour'd, Till fairly for the steamer they'd set out, And, bag and baggage, all were safe aboard. "We're off at length," exclaim'd the joyous band; For now the steamer ceas'd its hissing roar; The paddles slowly plash'd, on either hand, To draw the vessel gently from the shore. And now the steam breath'd out in greater force; The gallant boat was fairly under way; In majesty she shap'd her rapid course--- Were ever folk so happy and so gay! Dense with a living mass the vessel teem'd; In search of pleasure, some, and some, of health; Maids who of love and matrimony dream'd, And speculators keen, in haste for wealth; Old men smooth shorn; lads with long beards and rough; Rich men ill clad, and poor ones smart and clean; True honest men, with looks and language gruff; And rogues with speeches soft, and smiles between. Some woman too would catch the ear and eye, Striving, with might and main, her brat to quiet, Who paid its mother's scolding lullaby With kicks and jerks and still a louder riot. The smiling maids, in flower-lin'd bonnets drest, Seem'd, to the careless gaze, all fair alike: No one, at first, was likely to arrest The wand'ring eye, or transient view to strike. So, clust'ring cherries on the tree appear, At distance seen, all ripe, and plump, and sound; 'Tis not till gather'd, and examin'd near, That many a canker'd blemish may be found.
Long, on the deck, the living chaos stirr'd, Before each element could find its place; While unexpected greetings oft were heard, And oft appear'd some unexpected face. With much-ado, for Henry and his Kate A place to seat themselves, at length, was found. The rest, with wonder and with joy elate, At ev'ry novel sight, came clust'ring round. Kate lov'd to gaze on earth, and wave, and sky, The woods, the river's rocky margin steep. The boys lov'd best to watch the wild-fowl fly, To see the fishes from the water leap. Henry, on all within and all without, Attentive look'd, and frequently, the while, Some object to his children pointed out, That might instruction give, or call a smile. "See that plump-visag'd, snug and tidy wife, Who keeps all right and tight, where'er she goes; The busy, bustling habit of whose life, In ev'ry look, and word, and act, she shows. These are the dames, whose angry call Makes servants tremble, and brave husbands laugh. Let them alone ye witlings; after all, Nine out of ten, they are the better half." "Do see," cried Charles, "that little swarthy man, In long black boots, who holds his book so near To his snub-nose; help laughing if you can"--- "Beware, my son, at strangers how you sneer," Replied his father, "little do you dream How bright a mind within that form resides. The rough pearl-oyster, thus, would worthless seem To one unconscious of the gem it hides. "Smile, if you will, at those two pallid youths, Hard-by, in converse close, with heads together, Grasping at shades of metaphysic truths, In hopes to solve some knotty if or whether. They come for health; yet there they sit, by th' hour, Discussing loud, from some dull schoolman's book, What is or is not in th' Almighty's power; And, meanwhile, neither of them deigns to look Upon th' Almighty's works which, all around, With his own radiant impress ever shine; Where health of mind and body may be found, And things to feed the soul with thoughts divine." Somewhat retir'd there was another group--- A mother with two children and her spouse. They could not fail, in Henry and his troop, Deep interest and compassion to arouse. She too for health was seeking; beauteous, young; A hectic flush but rendered her more fair. Her girls, unconscious, round their father hung, Who strove, in vain, to hide his anxious air. 'Twas sad to see the silent tear-drop stain Her lovely cheek, as on her girls she smil'd, With mix'd emotions that confess'd how vain She deem'd, at heart, the hope that oft beguil'd. Scarce, Henry from his children could conceal The long-quell'd anguish in his breast that rose; Or hide the tear that down his cheek would steal At sight of what awoke his own past woes. Yet still, he ceas'd not there to turn his eyes; Nor would he blot the mem'ry of the past. Strange! that our keenest pangs we seem to prize, And dwell on early sorrows to the last! It was relief to view a happier sight; A lovely infant in its mother's arms, Recovering from disease whose threat'ning blight Had rack'd her tender heart with dire alarms. To watch each fav'ring sign, she sat intent, And joy'd to see the babe cheer up the while. With heart too full to speak, her head she bent, And gave the little creature smile for smile. Kate would have given half her life, to snatch The infant from its mother's fond embrace; Its outstretch'd hand within her own to catch, And print a thousand kisses on its face. There was a towering manly-treading lass, With long sharp nose and philosophic look; Her brain, of borrow'd thoughts a mingled mass, Who valued nought that was not in a book. Heav'n help the mortal doom'd by cruel fate To bide the wordy torrent of her tongue! This precious creature fasten'd on our Kate All fearless of the woe that o'er her hung. The pure unblemish'd native light that beam'd From Kate's sweet face had caught this damsel's eyes; A subject, to her vanity, she seem'd, Whom she might safely deign to patronize. When to the enchanting Highland scene they came, One would have thought by book she knew it all; For ev'ry hill she found a classic name, And recognis'd each rill and waterfall. In long citations, such a peal was rung As serv'd our helpless victim to astound. She wish'd at heart that Scott had never sung, Or that the Lady of the Lake were drown'd. At length when dinner's stirring summons rang, To Kate, no music e'er had such a charm; No bird let loose more lightly ever sprang Than she, to catch her father's ready arm. Too clearly, by the tumult which ensued, The innate selfishness of man was shown; Careless of other's comfort, each pursued, With all his force, th' attainment of his own. But, with our gentle Henry, 'twas not so: Th' impatience of his children he withstood: He said, their meal 'twere better to forego Than show themselves both gluttonous and rude. While all seem'd mad with hunger and with thirst, He mov'd with measur'd step and tranquil air: The vacant place he took which offer'd first; Nor seem'd he, for himself, to have a care. What is the real gentleman, but he Who from the path of kindness never strays? Who truly is what he appears to be? And feels at heart the goodness he displays? The outside show of elegance and ease, The mere result of study and of art, Has pow'r, awhile, the eye and ear to please; But real worth alone can reach the heart. The one, like empty sounds that swell and roll, Conveys no clear sensation to the mind. The other reaches to the inmost soul, Like dulcet strains with touching words combin'd. Soon as the comfortless repast was o'er, They gladly left the cabin's breath confin'd, And, mounting to the open deck, once more, Inhal'd, with joy, the cool refreshing wind. Their spirits soon began more gay to rise; Toward all around they felt in social mood. For, though blue-stockings may the thought despise, 'Tis sure the mind gains health from solid food. But soon Kate saw that all her joy must end. "Oh dear! oh dear!" thought she, "what shall I do? Here comes my everlasting learned friend--- Well, well, Heav'n grant I ne'er may be a blue!" Ah no! her ev'ry word and ev'ry look Proclaim'd that no such fate she need to dread; Her thoughts and feelings, drawn from Nature's book, Shed simple truth's pure light o'er all she said. In vain she strives to shun the watchful gaze; Now clings more closely to her father's side; Now starts away to chase some child that strays; And now she seems to warn, and now to chide. So full of anxious care her thoughts appear, That interruption would be downright rude. Yet still, my lady blue kept ever near; And still, like sportsman keen, her game pursued; For Kate, who wish'd not ever to offend, A list'ner of no common value prov'd. But Henry could no more her steps attend; And, wearied, to a vacant seat he mov'd. When by her father she had plac'd her chair, And had the children safely station'd round, Her kind protectress fail'd not to be there; And nasal measures soon began to sound. As through this world we wend our weary way, So intermingled are the good and ill, That much is found our troubles to allay; This thought at least, they might be greater still. Declaimers seldom for an answer wait; At most, but for a careless yes or no; Thus Heav'n is pleas'd, in mercy, to abate What might have been the wretched list'ner's wo. But Kate, in truth, unfeign'd attention paid; And scarce could she her merriment control, While lurking smiles around her features play'd And furtive glances toward her father stole. Long did th' untiring speaker's voice resound With Southey's wonders and Montgomery's charms; Till, sudden, she beheld, on glancing round, Her patient list'ner---lock'd in Morpheus' arms. The angel look of sweet unsconcious Kate Proclaim'd how little dream'd she to offend, Or change to bitter wrath and vengeful hate The seeming friendship of a seeming friend. Her father could have burst with glee outright, To see the fury of the damsel's eyes; For, long since, to his keen experienc'd sight, She was a smiling vixen in disguise. Yet strove he, for his daughter, peace to make; Pleaded the engine's ceaseless weary stroke; How early she was call'd, that morn, to wake; And of her youth and inexperience spoke. This, to a lady of a certain age, Appear'd a sly premeditated blow; Away she turn'd, with inward glowing rage, And parted from her friends, a bitter foe. The morning mist that dims an op'ning rose Imparts new beauty, ere it melts away. And thus, our sleeper woke from soft repose With features brighten'd and with looks more gay. But keenest pleasure soon must loose its tone, When that's the only end we have in view. This, by our younger travellers was shown; Who now began to pant for somewhat new; To ask the distance they had still to go; At what abode they were to pass the night; Their progress seem'd continually more slow; They wish'd that Albany would come in sight. At length, the distant spires to view arise; And now the dreaded shoal awakes their fears. The pilot, with firm hand and watchful eyes, The vessel through the channel safely steers. Fierce rose the strife, the tumult and the noise, When first the steamer touch'd her destin'd shore. On rush'd the hack-men and the baggage-boys. The safety-valve sent forth its angry roar. In terror and amaze the girls they stand. The boys confounded, scarce know where to turn; Impetuous, they at once would rush to land; But, self-possession Henry bid them learn, And not, by eagerness, increase the strife. And, as he calmly stood, pronounc'd this rule--- "In all the troublous passages of life, Pray for a spirit patient, firm, and cool." And now, beneath a skillful driver's care, We leave our friends to wind their tortuous way, And seek a night's refreshment, to repair Their strength and spirits, for another day.
From sleep profound our young folk op'd their eyes, When first the warning bell sent forth its peal; And for a moment gazed, with that surprise Which, waking far from home, we're wont to feel. Anon, they heard their father bid them rise, And, quick, make ready for their morning meal. That o'er, they sprang their journey to pursue; First casting round their rooms a parting look: For this last glance, if travellers tell what's true, Saves many a straggling kerchief, cap, or book. Now are the party on their way again, Well stow'd, our Henry 'mid his sons and daughters, And swiftly gliding in the railroad train To Saratoga's fam'd health-giving waters. Of all the joys that from our senses flow, None are, perhaps, more exquisitely keen Than those emotions which light spirits know When entering first upon a rural scene. The azure heav'n that calls our thoughts on high; The glorious light of summer shed around; The hills and vales that in the prospect lie; The cloud-form'd shadows flying o'er the ground; The cool untainted zephyr gently blowing; The shrubs and grass refresh'd by ev'ning showers; The sparkling streams along the valleys flowing; The trees wide spread, or cluster'd into bowers; While rapid motion, as the carriage flies, Stirs up new life and spirit in the soul, Just as the mantling foam and bubbles rise In generous wine that's dash'd into the bowl;--- These, and unnumber'd other pure delights With which the varied charms of Nature shine, Give to the heart an impulse that excites A joy that seems to have a touch divine. But pleasure, soon or late, is dash'd with pain; For mists will hide the landscape from the eye; The clearest skies will gather clouds and rain; Cool winds will heated grow, and dust will fly. Some of those pleasures, and these troubles too, While on their way, our younger party felt. The day wax'd warm; they all impatient grew; No more on rural scenes their fancies dwelt; They long'd from crowded durance to get free, And stretch at ease their cramp'd up limbs, once more; And though, at first, nought could exceed their glee, At length, they fairly wish'd their journey o'er. On, on, the engine, puffing, panting, went; Impatient, as it seem'd, the goal to reach; And, ever and anon, afar it sent Its warning voice, with fearful goblin screech. Away, as from a monster's jaws outspread, Th' astonish'd beasts o'er hill and valley bound: With eyes wild gleaming, from unwonted dread, And, head and ears erect, they gaze around. At length, their father bid his children cheer; For, at the rate they then were hurl'd along, Their durance soon should end, as they were near To Saratoga's idly busy throng. Soon as arriv'd, like vultures on their prey, The keen attendants on the baggage fell; And trunks and bags were quickly caught away, And in the destin'd dwelling thrown pell-mell. Then names were register'd, and rooms were shown, And, for the dinner dress, arrangements made: And, ere another rapid hour had flown, By joyous hearts the summons was obey'd. Life pass'd without some purpose kept in view Were worse than death. The lonely pris'ner craves Some painful task or labor to pursue; And, for relief, the fiercest danger braves. How then could sons of pleasure chase away From these gay scenes the horrors of ennui, But for the three great epochs of the day, The happy hours of Breakfast---Dinner---Tea? All then inhale fresh spirits and new life; E'en churls look pleasant; wealth forgets its pride; The fiercest disputants forego their strife; Segars and Politics are thrown aside. Yet, when we have no higher end and aim Than pleasure, for the moment, as it flies, It soon gives way to feelings cold and tame, And, while we grasp it, languishes and dies. One who pursues the same unvarying round Of dinners, concerts, billiards, drives and dances, Is like a squirrel cag'd, who, though he bound, And whirl about his wheel, yet ne'er advances. In all his children's pastimes Henry shar'd; For, to repress young spirits, he thought wrong; But, little, in his very heart, he car'd For what engag'd the pleasure-hunting throng. And o'er the young folk too the thought would steal, That e'en to waltz at night, at noon to roam, To drink the waters, taste the hurried meal, Were not the the pure delights of their dear home. The sounds of strife or wassail, in the night, Or of departing guests, at dawn of day, Would fill the boys with wrath, the girls with fright; And ofttimes chase their rest and sleep away. At meals, some noisy pack their peace would mar; Who deem'd it to gentility a stain, Though half-seas-o'er with brandy at the bar, To call for other bev'rage than champaign. But swift, away, away, the hours they flew; Those winged hours that go so strangely fast When unaccustom'd objects meet the view; Yet seem of such unwonted length, when past. When favoring skies and sunbeams cheer'd the day, The mansion's inmates scatter'd far and wide, The lakes to view, or in the fields to stray, To hunt, to fish, to visit, drive, or ride. Our party made the usual tour of jaunts. They climb'd the hills, to view the vales below. They sought for rude uncultivated haunts; Or stray'd among the woods where wild flowers grow. The wonted casualties that travellers meet Would cause perplexity, or fears excite; A drunken driver tottering in his seat; A sudden break-down, or way lost at night. But when they came back safe and well at last, And, after toil, enjoy'd refreshing rest, They felt that all the troubles they had past Gave to their pleasures still a keener zest. 'Twere wearisome of all the scenes to tell That caus'd enraptur'd feelings to awake. But we may venture, for a while, to dwell Upon the beauties of that lovely lake Whose pure wave drinks so deep heav'n's holy light, It seems a sacred character to claim; And from religion's sacramental rite, In days now long gone by, deriv'd its name. It seems call'd forth by magic to the eye, With countless verdant islets scatter'd o'er; Its hills contrasting with the azure sky, And rising all romantic from the shore. While speechless pleasure in their faces beam'd, Kate and her sisters, from the winged boat, Would in the crystal dip their hands, that seem'd Like water-lilies on the wave to float. When pelting rain or tempest threat'ning round Enforc'd th' unwilling guests at home to stay, They sought whate'er expedients could be found To cheat the time and haste the weary day. Recourse was had to writing or to books; To walking, lounging, singing, whistling, humming; To billiards and backgammon, rings and hooks; On hoarse pianos to incessant thrumming. On such a day as this, a lively lass Was playing songs and waltzes, and odd ends Of fav'rite melodies, the time to pass, Surrounded by a knot of sportive friends. While playful mischief lurk'd in ev'ry eye, With many a laugh or titter half supprest, They slyly watch'd the figures passing by, And look'd and whisper'd many a merry jest. A stranger, of a quiet modest air, Walked slowly round, or at a distance sat. For him, no more did our gay party care Than for a purring, chimney-corner cat. Amid the medley, suddenly his ear Perceiv'd, the notes of an uncommon strain. He rose, and quietly approaching near, Petition'd gently for the air again. The player, courteously the strain renew'd, Which she, from foreign voice, had learn'd by rote. He, as she play'd it o'er, the theme pursued, And prick'd it in his tablets, note for note; Then, at the instrument he took his seat, And play'd the melody with graceful turn, And taste so pure, and harmony so sweet, As made th' astonish'd nymphs with blushes burn. Charm'd by the pow'r of music's touching art, With looks how chang'd the stranger now they view! And him it well behoov'd to guard his heart, Lest mischief-loving eyes should pierce it through. They're of a compound strange, these fair young creatures; Though made up, as 'twould seem, of fun and mirth, And apes of fickle fashion's wildest features, They can excel, when tried, in moral strength and worth. They're like the plaything children call a Witch; Made of a weight attach'd to somewhat light. Howe'er you twist or twirl it, toss or twitch, It has a saving power that brings it right.
'Twas pleasant, in the ev'nings, to behold The motley groups with which the mansion teem'd, Of various nations form'd, both young and old, That like to living panoramas seem'd; To view the waltzers whirling, two and two, With foot and heart both lighter than a feather; While glancing dames watch'd, who and who, In graceful coil, had wound themselves together. There might be seen the planter from the South, With touch of fire, but open, debonair; The merchant from the East, with firm-set mouth, And dark inquiring eye, and look of care. Gay Frenchmen too, in social pastimes skill'd, With manners polish'd, and with lively faces; Young Englishmen, in Greek and Latin drill'd, More favor'd by the Muses than the Graces. Italian counts and Spanish dons, all cold, Sedate and grave; but let them rouse with ire, Like snow-clad mountains, they'll be found to hold The elements that feed volcanic fire. And well-bred Germans too, of whom some say They are a heavy, dull, Boeotian race; But, if the truth were told, as Frenchmen gay, To solid lore, they join a Frenchman's grace. And, now and then, might fall upon the ear The voice of some conceited vulgar cit, Who, while he would the well-bred man appear, Mistakes low pleasantry for genuine wit. Men of deep learning, or of sterling worth, Were in the crowd conceal'd and to be sought; Just as the finer metals, deep in earth Are mostly found, ere to the view they're brought. Perchance some careless genius might be told By flashes he unconscious threw around, That seem'd like grains of sparkling virgin gold Strewn by the hand of Nature o'er the ground. Some tranquil minds were made to shine by dint Of fools' attacks, that waken'd gen'rous ire; As steel elicits from the stricken flint The sudden brilliance of its secret fire. Fierce party-politicians too there were, Who all their foes in Satan's colors paint; Those very foes who, when time serves, they'll swear To be, each one, as pure as any saint. Some few, who would philosophers be deem'd, At what is sacred aim'd their heartless wit; Whose wanton sallies, to the pious, seem'd The pale cold light which putrid things emit. From such, our Henry never turn'd aside, When aught they said was to his ear address'd; But, by superior lore, abased their pride; Or, by his keen reproof, their levity repress'd. He made them know and feel that, in his eyes, The humblest pauper who could hope and pray, With heart sincere, above this state to rise, Was of a higher, nobler caste than they. Some damsels, even when they did not quote, Were heard to choose their phrases with such care, That all seem'd like a book well learn'd by rote. Henry enjoin'd his children to beware Of seeking words and phrases grand and fine; And said, in language, ornament misplac'd, Just as in dress, was wont to be a sign Of badly tutor'd mind and vulgar taste. There were some dainty dames of minds so pure, Of sense so exquisite, and ears so chaste, That all around them, soon or late, were sure, By some unlucky word to be disgrac'd. If e'er Kate chanc'd to mention leg or knee, All seem'd with wounded modesty to glow. Yet, in the midst of wildest mirth and glee, Kate's mind was purer than the mountain snow. And, while cold scornful smiles were seen around, Henry would whisper, she had spoken well; And that true modesty was ever found Between the prudish and the gross to dwell. Dandies were lounging seen in the saloon, With ev'ry item of their dress arrang'd By rule; and, ev'ry morn, and night, and noon, That dress, to suit the time of day, was chang'd. These exquisites might fancy to unbend So far, as with some belle a waltz to walk; But, should they to an humbler dance descend, Would like the statue in Don Juan stalk. For why should they their toilet jeopardize? Uncurl a whisker, rumple a cravat, Disturb a curl that on fair forehead lies? What dire misfortune could be worse than that? Fair forms, as light as sylphs of noiseless tread, Imparted life and radiance to the scene; Like brilliant flowerets o'er the meadow spread, Or ev'ning fire-flies twinkling on the green. But, though complexions might be found more fair, Maidens more fit to shine at rout or ball, And who'd be call'd of more distinguish'd air, Our Kate was still the loveliest of them all. Hers was so archly innocent a look, Such pensiveness with gaiety combin'd, As show'd a nature that at once partook Of ev'ry various quality of mind. When aught of pity mov'd her gentle heart, There was a light, that seem'd not of this earth, Beam'd from her eyes, and fail'd not to impart To all she said or did a tenfold worth. She, with her brother Charles, one sultry eve, To seek refreshing breezes, chanc'd to stray. A wand'ring pauper pray'd them to relieve His want; nor turn'd they from his prayer away. They both were mov'd, for he was old and maim'd. He thank'd our Charles; but such the angel grace With which Kate gave her alms, that he exclaim'd "May God Almighty bless your kind sweet face!"
But now autumnal airs began to blow; At morn and eve, the atmosphere was cold; The hours no longer seem'd on wings to go; The pleasures most approv'd grew stale and old. Home! home! whose very name has magic power, Became, each moment, dearer to each heart. Of all their life, 'twould be the happiest hour, When for that home they should again depart. At length, quite wearied with the course they'd run, It was arrang'd, if naught the plan should mar, For all to rise before the morrow's sun, And make them ready for the homeward car. Bright roseate hues adorn'd the eastern skies As Sol lit up the morn without a cloud. Sleep quickly vanish'd from our party's eyes; The gathering bustle rose more strong and loud; For now toward home they soon should be away. Each hand and tongue was busy as a bee; And, ere the ev'ning of another day, They hop'd their wish'd-for home again to see. 'Twas one of those autumnal days that shine, Full oft, so glorious, on our favor'd land; When th' heavens and all the elements combine To render Nature beautiful and bland. There breath'd around a heav'nly influence--- Creation look'd so smiling and so blest, That sorrow's keenest pangs grew less intense, And heaviest care with lighter burden prest. All objects shone so lucid and so clear, So sharp each outline on the deep-blue sky, That what was distant seem'd to draw more near, And ev'ry tint came radiant to the eye. The foliage had exchang'd its summer green For all the varied hues by Autumn shed. No rustling breeze disturb'd the tranquil scene That seem'd a picture to the view outspread. If e'er we mortals feel unmingled bliss, While through this world of care we roam, 'Tis in the hour, when, on a day like this, We speed us, after absence long, for home. Away they flew, those cars that seem design'd With birds of swiftest strongest wing to race; And, as no more by former laws confin'd, Seem, while they go, to mock at time and space. With such delight our party's minds were fraught, To think that homeward they were hurl'd again; Such pleasure 'twas to dwell upon the thought, They almost wish'd the motion to restrain. Just as we see a child delay to taste Some ripe and tempting fruit 'tis wont to prize; Nor will it to the dainty pleasure haste; But still puts off the feast, and fondly eyes. To fam'd Albania's dullness and its dust We leave our party for another night, The hours to sleep away, in hope and trust, At home, next day, to find all well and right. No need there was, at morn, for bell to chime, Nor for the voice of Henry's early call. They were afoot long ere the wonted time; Their things were pack'd, and they were ready all. Ere long, our Henry, with his girls and boys Were on the steamer's deck; and one day more Of pleasure, mix'd with bustle, heat and noise, Brought back the travellers safely to their door, And then it was a goodly sight, to see The servants, old and young, all rushing out Their faces beaming with such heart-felt glee! And ev'ry tongue in motion!---Such a rout! The watch-dog jumping with outrageous joy, His paws outstretch'd upon his master's neck; Who had his utmost vigor to employ, The creature's loving violence to check. The favorite lap-dog leapt around the girls, And would be seen and heard amid the throng: He wagg'd his tail, and shook his silken curls, And downright scolded that they staid so long. And C*sar bustled round, with mouth agrin; A faithful heart his homely form beneath, Distinguish'd from the rest by ebon skin In shining contrast with his snow-white teeth. Amid their joy, the young-folk felt surprise That when they tried to speak, their lips were dumb. Soft silent tears came gushing to their eyes; With pleasing pain their hearts were overcome. When all were hous'd, and things arrang'd, at last, And when they felt they were at home once more: When they had risen from their light repast; And when their ev'ning orisons were o'er; Then, ere retiring to their welcome rest, Kate to her father's cheek approach'd her lip, And ask'd him, as he held her to his breast, "Now, father, was it such a foolish trip?" "No," said our Henry, "not, if you're return'd With health robust, and love of home renew'd; If to appreciate true worth you've learn'd, And with due scorn have worthless folly view'd; If Nature's works have tended to inspire, For what is beautiful and pure, a keener love; If, at their view, you felt a holy fire Enwrap your heart, and call your thoughts above. But, if this be the first step to the moon, For which you seem'd so eager, in the Spring; If, henceforth, we're to sail in a balloon, Or other craft of new-invented wing; If this, your first excursion do but tend To render you unquiet, prone to roam, To make your peace on what's abroad depend, 'Twere better far you ne'er had left your home. And now, my darling rogue, to bed away, Still to this sublunary state resign'd; And, whereso'er your lot, forever pray That Heav'n may grant you a contented mind."
The semblance of your parent's time-worn face Is but a sad bequest, my children dear! Its youth and freshness gone, and in their place The lines of care, the track of many a tear! Amid life's wreck, we struggle to secure Some floating fragment from oblivion's wave We pant for somewhat that may still endure, And snatch at least a shadow from the grave. Poor, weak, and transient mortals! why so vain Of manly vigor or of beauty's bloom? An empty shade for ages may remain When we have moulder'd in the silent tomb. But no! it is not we who moulder there; We, of essential light that ever burns, We take our way through untried fields of air, When to the earth this earth-born frame returns. And 'tis the glory of the master's art Some radiance of this inward light to find; Some touch that to his canvass may impart A breath, a sparkle of the immortal mind. Alas! the pencil's noblest power can show But some faint shadow of a transient thought, Some waken'd feeling's momentary glow, Some swift impression in its passage caught. Oh! that the artist's pencil could portray A father's inward bosom to your eyes; What hopes, and fears, and doubts perplex his way, What aspirations for your welfare rise. Then might this unsubstantial image prove, When I am gone, a guardian of your youth, A friend for ever urging you to move In paths of honor, holiness, and truth. Let fond imagination's power supply The void that baffles all the painter's art; And when those mimic features meet your eye, Then fancy that they speak a parent's heart. Think that you still can trace within those eyes The kindling of affection's fervid beam, The searching glance that every fault espies, The fond anticipation's pleasing dream. Fancy those lips still utter sounds of praise, Or kind reproof that checks each wayward will, The warning voice, or precepts that may raise Your thoughts above this treach'rous world of ill. And thus shall Art attain her loftiest power; To noblest purpose shall her efforts tend Not the companion of an idle hour, But Virtue's handmaid and Religion's friend.
Who in the stream of fashion thoughtless glide; No modish lay, no melting strain of love Is here pour'd forth, your tender hearts to move. Yet think not envious age inspires the song, Rejecting all our earth-born joys as wrong. Think me no matron stern who would repress Each modern grace, each harmless change of dress; But one whose heart exults to join the band Where joy and innocence go hand in hand; One who, while modesty maintains her place, That sacred charm which heightens every grace, Complacent, sees your robes excel the snow, Or borrow colors from the aerial bow. But in those half-rob'd bosoms are there hid No thoughts which shame and purity forbid? Why do those fine-wrought veils around you play, Like mists which scarce bedim the orb of day? What mean those careless limbs, that conscious air, At which the modest blush, the vulgar stare? Can spotless minds endure the guilty leer, The sober matron's frown, the witling's sneer? Are these the charms which, in this age refin'd, Ensure applause, and captivate the mind? Are these your boasted powers; are these the arts Which kindle love, and chain inconstant hearts? Alas! some angry power, some demon's skill Hath wrought this strange perversity of will; For sure some foe to innocence beguiles, When harmless doves attempt the serpent's wiles. True, Fashion's laws her ready votaries screen, And ogling beaux exclaim, Oh Goddess! Queen! But, vile the praise and adoration sought By arts degrading to each nobler thought! A base-born love those notes of praise inspires; That incense rises from unhallowed fires. If deaf while shame and purity complain, If reason's gentle voice be rais'd in vain, Learn from the scented nosegay in your hand The charms that can alone true love command. The flaunting tulip you reject with scorn, Though ting'd with all the hues that deck the morn; And, careful, search for humbler flowers which bloom Beneath the grass, yet scatter sweet perfume. The buds which only half their sweets disclose You fondly seize, but leave the full-blown rose. Humble the praise, and trifling the regard Which ever wait upon the moral bard! But there remains a hateful truth unsung Which burns the cheek, and falters on the tongue; And which, if modesty still hover round, Each virgin breast with sorrow must confound. "Those graceful modes," thus say your flattering beaux, "From ancient times and tastes refin'd arose." Disgrace not thus the names of Greece and Rome, Their birth-place must be sought for nearer home. Shame! shame! heart-rending thought! deep-sinking stain! That Britain's and Columbia's Fair should deign, Nay strive, their native beauties to enhance By arts first taught by prostitutes of France! O Modesty and Innocence! sweet pair Of dove-like sisters! still attend our Fair. Teach them, without your heav'nly influence, How vain the charms of beauty or of sense. Invest them with your radiance mild, yet bright; And give their sparkling eyes a softer light. Quick-mantling dimples on their cheeks bestow; And teach them with a purer red to glow; Let winning smiles too round those dimples gleam, Like moon-beams on the ruffled stream. And if resentment on the Muse attend From those she loves, and truly would befriend, Tell them, that cruel and unjust their ire; That she would warm their hearts with holy fire; And to the charms that soon must pass away Would add those mental beauties which shall ne'er decay.
Bright God of harmony, whose voice Inspires the tuneful Nine, Oh, grant me now thy golden lyre; And teach a strain like thine! And come, sweet Heliconian Maids, With mine your notes to blend: The gay Terpsichore To her I've sworn eternal hate; My soul indignant views The wrongs by her to Pallas done, And every sister Muse. Deep shrouded in her gloomy clouds, Black Night of her complains, That many a dream within its grot An idler now remains. Enamour'd of the airy skill This frolic Muse displays When call'd by fashion's friendly voice To guide the sportive maze, A thousand nymphs of loveliest bloom, Fair Hebe's joy and pride, Reject me from their blithsome hearts, And all my pangs deride. What aspirations from this breast Their charms have caus'd to rise! But, ah! the winds dispers'd each pray'r Before it reach'd the skies. The lyre Apollo kindly gave I find avail me naught; Each tawny scraper's notes surpass The strains by Phoebus taught. How oft my swelling voice in vain Has pour'd th' unheeded song, While gay gavotte or dizzy waltz Call'd off the ready throng. In vain I've bid each thoughtless nymph Consult her mirror true; And, ere too late, the dire effects Of ceaseless balls to view. In vain I've mark'd the languid beam, That lights her sleepless eye, And loudly mourn'd the faded cheek, Where new blown roses die. In vain I've tried these various arts, And bid the numbers flow; I've learn't, 'tis folly to resist A fiddler's magic bow. Would that Apollo made thee leave The pure Castalian choir; Or bound thee with a golden string From off thy useless lyre! Learn, bold intruder, to the feet Thy empire is confin'd; Leave, then, some more exalted power To sway the human mind. But whither is my ardent soul In fury wrapt away? Pardon, ye fair, who court this Muse, And love her frolick sway. Already from the nymphs I hear The low-voic'd murmurs rise; I see the frowns that shade their brows--- The lightning of their eyes, And looks, that thousand dire alarms Within my breast create; Lest I, like Orpheus, should be torn, Or meet Absyrtus' fate. Ah, smooth those brows so fiercely knit! Fair vot'ries of the dance; And let a beaming smile of peace Adorn each lovely glance. Now let those fallen cheeks, so pale, Resume their native red; No more let peace and joy be chas'd By words in frolick said. And hark, your willing ears may catch The distant prelude's sound; I see the Goddess you adore descend, To lead the festive round. Now, from your seats, all spring alert, 'Twere folly to delay, In well-assorted pairs unite, And nimbly trip away.
Come children dear, and look around; Behold how soft and light The silent snow had glad the ground In robes of purest white. The trees seem deck'd by fairy hand, Nor need their native green; And every breeze appears to stand, All hush'd, to view the scene. You wonder how the snows were made That dance upon the air, As if from purer worlds they stray'd, So lightly and so fair. Perhaps they are the summer flowers In northern stars that bloom, Wafted away from icy bowers To cheer our winter's gloom. Perhaps they're feathers of a race Of birds that live away, In some cold dreary wintry place, Far from the sun's warm ray. And clouds, perhaps, are downy beds On which the winds repose; Who, when they rouse their slumb'ring heads, Shake down the feath'ry snows. But see, my darlings, while we stay And gaze with fond delight, The fairy scene soon fades away, And mocks our raptur'd sight. And let this fleeting vision teach A truth you soon must know -- That all the joys we here can reach Are transient as the snow.
The beasts who roam o'er Libya's desert plain Have gentler hearts than men who dare maintain That woman, lovely woman, hath no soul. They too seem drench'd in Circe's pois'nous bowl Who grant, the Fair may have a soul to save, But deem each female born an abject slave. Give me a maiden of unfetter'd mind, By thought and knowledge strengthen'd and refin'd! A gift like this more precious would I hold Than India's gems, or Afric's purest gold. Ye maids, whose vows to science are address'd, If thus your minds be fashion'd, thus impress'd, With joy your course pursue; nor heed, the while, Envy's malignant grin, nor Folly's smile. Trace Nature's laws; explore the starry maze; Learn why the lightnings flash, the meteors blaze. From earth to heav'n your view, inquiring, dart; And see how order reigns in every part. 'Tis sweet, 'tis wholesome to frequent this school Where all is beauty and unerring rule. But strain'd research becomes not well the fair; Deep thought imparts a melancholy air; The sparkling eye grows dim, the roses fade, When long obscur'd beneath a studious shade. Suffice it for a tender nymph to stray Where strength and industry have clear'd the way; To cull the fruits and flowers which bless the toil Endur'd by Newton, Verulam and Boyle. Yet all possess not senses to enjoy These flowers so fair, these fruits which never cloy. There runs through all things which our powers can note A golden thread which links the most remote. There is a kindred feature to be trac'd In things most opposite, most widely plac'd. In matter, thus, resemblance may be found To soaring mind, whose movements own no bound. For, as a fluid vainly strives to save A heavier mass from sinking in its wave, So, in the mind made up of trifles light, All weighty truths, o'erwhelm'd sink out of sight! A while, perchance, it may endure to feel A sober thought's dread weight, as polish'd steel, Dropp'd gently on the water's face, seems loth To sink; but 'tis repulsion holds them both. Fair science, how thy modest cheeks would glow, If dragg'd to view in fashion's puppet-show! Midst fops and feathers, sighs and painted cheeks, Soft maiden blushes, and strange maiden freaks; Midst sickening pleasures, wearisome delights, Days doom'd to listlessness, and sleepless nights. Ill would'st thou fare amidst this gaudy train, Where all is treach'rous, transitory, vain! No, no, the fair who pant for joys like these Not wisdom's richest stores of wealth could please. Let Heaven and Earth, for them, be rul'd by chance; No laws they heed but those which rule the dance. Their eyes, fast fix'd on earth, ne'er love to roam O'er all the splendor of the starry dome, For them no stars e'er shone, since time began, With half the glories of a spangled fan. To you, ye Nymphs, inspirers of my song, No features here portrayed, I trust, belong. But should I see a girl at knowledge aim Because philosophy's a handsome name; Or who would learn because the fashion's so, And beckon science as she would a beau, This truth the trifler from my lips should know, "When Nature shall forget her 'stablish'd laws, And chance take place of an omniscient cause; When every creature some strange powers shall know, That swims in air, or treads the earth below; When bees, forgetful of their wonted skill, Shall idly flaunt, while butterflies distill The liquid sweets, and build the curious cell, Then may true wisdom grace a fluttering Belle."
This name here drawn by Flora's hand Portrays, alas! her mind: The beating surf and yielding sand Soon leave no trace behind. But Flora's name shall still abide In many a bosom trac'd, Not e'en by time's destroying tide Nor fortune's storms effac'd.
Sweet melancholy Bard! whose piercing thought Found humblest themes with pure instruction fraught; How hard for mortal sight to trace the ways Of Heav'n throughout thy life's mysterious maze! Why was it order'd that thy gentle mind, Which fancy fir'd and piety refin'd, Should in this guilty world be forc'd to dwell, Like some base culprit in his gloomy cell, Rous'd from its due repose by feverish dreams, By goblin forms, by din of fancied screams? Why was that fertile genius waste and chill'd? By wintry blasts its opening blossoms kill'd? A soil where Yemen's spicy buds might blow, And Persia's rose a purer fragrance know! Why bloom'd so late those sweet poetic flowers, Bless'd by no summer suns, no vernal showers, Which in the autumn of thy days were rear'd By friendship's dew, by fickle zephyrs cheer'd? I hear a distant Seraph bid me "Hold, Nor tempt high Heav'n by such inquiries bold. Weak-sighted mortal! canst thou not discern. What from unaided reason thou might'st learn? Had fortune's sunbeams cheer'd his early days, Amidst the soft favonian breath of praise, Those fruitful virtues which sprang up so fair, Those blossoms breathing odors on the air, By weeds of pride and vanity o'ergrown, Unheeded might have bloom'd, and died unknown. Presumptuous mortal 'twould become thee well On this thy fellow mortal's life to dwell; For in his breast, when rack'd by fiercest woes, To question Heav'n, no daring thought e'er rose. His actions vice and folly view with shame; His precepts foul-mouth'd envy dares not blame; His well-lov'd image still calls many a tear; His cherish'd name all ages shall revere."
Thy charms, Petrosa, which inspire Unnumber'd swains to chant thy praise, Bid me too join the tuneful choir, My faint and timorous voice to raise. And though more lofty songs invite, Regard for once, an humble swain The warbling thrush can oft delight More than the skylark's louder strain. Thy heavenly form, thy virtues too, In notes of praise ascend the skies. To opening charms, that strike the view, Unceasing aspirations rise. But midst these charms, by all confess'd, One fault thy hopeless swains declare; A heart there dwells within that breast, Which knows no love, which heeds no prayer. Despondent sighs, and notes of pain Delight, they say, Petrosa's ear To sue for pity, were as vain As from the rocks to ask a tear. Oh senseless throng! that callous breast Proclaims her nature's favor'd child While others pine, with love oppress'd, Her thoughts are free, her slumbers mild. And all that softness which gives grace And honor to the female heart, Though distant from its wonted place, She harbors in a nobler part; For, though that heart to every sound Which would compassion move be dull, The softness which should there be found Kind Nature granted to her---skull.
Sweet Maid, could wealth or power Thy heart to love incline, I would not bless the hour, The hour that calls thee mine. Ah! no, beneath the Heaven Blooms not so fair a flower As love that's freely given. Dear youth, have not these eyes, To thine so oft returning, Ah! say, have not these tell-tale sighs, These cheeks with blushes burning, My every thought bespoken? Do these denote disguise? Do these false love betoken? Oh! bliss, all bliss transcending, When souls congenial blending, The sacred flame inspire Of love's etherial fire. Such love, from change secure, For ever shall endure. True love like this, of heavenly birth, Not here confin'd to mortal earth, Shall to immortal Heaven aspire.
Oh Muse! I feel my genius rise On soaring pinions to the skies. Whom shall I sing? The Muse replies--- Old Dobbin. Come then, sweet Goddess, come, I pray, Assist me with responsive lay, To all I sing you need but say Old Dobbin. Who, in this world of varying ill, Keeps on his even tenor still, Nor fails his duty to fulfil? Old Dobbin. Who, while with passions men are blind, Ne'er lets impatience stir his mind, But jogs on steady, slow and kind? Old Dobbin. Who, ne'er for taunt nor scoff will budge, But goes along with easy trudge, As grave and solemn as a judge? Old Dobbin. Who like a Stoick, scorns disgrace, Nor e'er exults in pride of place, But does each task with equal grace? Old Dobbin. Who then, celestial Muse, may claim The high reward of spotless fame, The glory of a deathless name? Old Dobbin.
Full well I know what direful wrath impends, From Fashion's gay and numerous host of friends, O'er all who blindly list not in her cause, Nor swear eternal fealty to her laws. I know with what despotic sway she rules O'er old and young, o'er wise as well as fools; In what imperious tones she bids the throng Obey her word, though Heav'n pronounce it wrong. Yet, though my crimes against this power so high Be numberless, and oft of deepest dye, Leave I entreat to extenuate my blame: A right which guiltiest criminals may claim; E'en they who fly not at a Lady's call, And dare withstand the attraction of a ball. Of magic zones and rings you oft have heard, By fairies on their favorites conferred, Which pinch'd the wearers sore, or made them bleed, Whene'er they went astray in thought or deed. Nor think these stories false because they're old, But true as this which soon I will unfold. Sweet sleep had shed its mists around my eyes, And fancy's motley forms began to rise, When, 'mid these fleeting phantoms of the night, A vision stood distinct before my sight. Though far below the human size it seem'd A dazzling brightness from its visage beam'd. My airy dreams it seem'd to chase away, And thus in sweetest accents deign'd to say: "Hail, Youth! In me behold a friendly power, Thy guard in every place, at every hour, Who thus appear expos'd to mortal view, Clearly to mark the course you should pursue. To me 'tis giv'n your virtue to secure From custom's force and pleasure's dangerous lure. I watch the motions of your youthful mind, Rejoicing when to virtue 'tis inclin'd; But when a growing folly is descried, To root it out, no art I leave untried. Those drugs I mix in pleasure's luscious bowl Which pain the body to preserve the soul. That listlessness, those qualms, those aches I send Which dissipation's giddy round attend. Nor let these warnings, by your Guardian giv'n, By winning pleasure from your thoughts be driv'n. For if, regardless of my friendly voice, In Fashion's gaudy scenes your heart rejoice, Dire punishments shall fall upon your head: Disgust, and fretfulness, and secret dread. Unmeaning forms shall swim before your eyes, Wild as the clouds which float in vernal skies. But if true wisdom all your thoughts employ, I promise lasting peace and health and joy. A mind untouch'd by malice or by spleen Shall make your slumbers light, your thoughts serene; And through the ills which mortals must betide I still will be your counsellor and guide." So spoke the friendly power; then, waving light His azure pinions, vanish'd from my sight. Such is the guardian Genius, ever near, Whose love I strive to gain, whose wrath I fear. But, when his favoring smiles I would secure, Complaining friendship's frown I oft endure; And now, for open breach of Fashion's laws, A criminal, am forc'd to plead my cause. Such is my lot; and though I guilty prove, Compassion sure my Judge's breast will move. Not pardon for my fault I hope to find; But humbly pray, you'll change to one more kind The threaten'd sentence, cruel as 'tis hard, To lose forever your benign regard.
My merry friend, your balls are wound; And glad I'll be, if they can bound As light and brisk as you. Some thoughts, the ravelings of my brain, Which here I've wrought into a skein, Ask your acceptance too. Mid baubles that attract mankind, We oft some sober hint may find, Our reason to employ. To those who view the world aright, There may arise a moral light E'en from the merest toy. These balls, so round and smooth and new, Have much within them, hid from view, That's worthless, when alone. How like is this to many a wight Whose charms would vanish from the sight, Could but his heart be shown! Yet, if our thought again we turn, An emblem here we may discern Of what's oft seen on earth: For, e'en the vicious and the loose May still be found to have their use, When awed by solid worth. What are those forms, so neat and light, Of dazzling hues and purest white, That grace your annual fair? They're shreds, and patches, and odd ends, The useless rubbish each one sends, Dispos'd with taste and care. How much that meets our ears and eyes, Of what the world calls great and wise, Is like that showy scene! Could we but view the secret springs Of many fair and specious things, How chang'd would be their mien! And yet again, we there are taught The powerful sway that mind and thought O'er senseless matter hold; How genius can, with plastic hand, In all we see some worth command, Or hidden charm unfold. May you and each industrious maid Whose skillful hands have lent their aid To deck the fairy show, Be deep impress'd by your own work How much that's false and weak may lurk Where brightest colours glow. May your affections there incline Where native worth and virtue shine Unchang'd by specious art; Where all is natural, frank, and kind; Where Truth's all-piercing eye would find A sound and loyal heart.
Thy dimpled girls and rosy boys Rekindle in thy heart the joys That bless'd thy tender years: Unheeded fleet the hours away; For, while thy cherubs round thee play, New life thy bosom cheers. Once more, thou tell'st me, I may taste, Ere envious time this frame shall waste, My infant pleasures flown. Ah! there's a ray, of lustre mild, Illumes the bosom of a child, To age, alas! scarce known. Not for my infant pleasures past I mourn; those joys which flew so fast, They too had many a stain; But for the mind, so pure and light, Which made those joys so fair, so bright, I sigh, and sigh in vain. Well I remember you, blest hours! Your sunbeams bright, your transient showers--- Thoughtless I saw you fly; For distant ills then caus'd no dread, Nor cared I for the moments fled, For memory call'd no sigh. Fond parents swayed my every thought; No blame I feared, no praise I sought, But what their love bestowed: Full soon I learn'd each meaning look; Nor e'er the angry glance mistook For that where rapture glowed. Whene'er night's shadows call'd to rest, I sought my father, to request His benediction mild: A mother's love more loud would speak, With kiss on kiss she'd print my cheek, And bless her darling child. Thy lightest mists and clouds, sweet sleep! Thy purest opiates thou dost keep, On infancy to shed. No guilt there checks thy soft embrace, And not e'en tears and sobs can chase Thee from an infant's bed. The trickling tears which flow'd at night, Oft hast thou stay'd, 'till morning light Dispell'd my little woes. So fly before the sunbeam's power The remnants of the evening shower Which wet the early rose. Farewell, bless'd hours! full fast ye flew, And that which made your bliss so true Ye would not leave behind. The glow of youth ye could not leave; But why, why cruelly bereave Me of my artless mind? Childhood's unwrinkled front so fair, So smooth, so free from touch of care, Must feel the hand of age: But can no power preserve the soul Unharm'd by pleasure's soft control, Nor rent by passion's rage? The changes which o'ertake our frame, Alas! are emblems of the same Which on the mind attend. Yet who reviews the course he has run, But thinks were life once more begun, Unspotted it should end? Fond Mother! hope thy bosom warms That on the prattler in thy arms Heaven's choicest gifts will flow. Thus let thy prayer incessant rise To Him who, thron'd above the skies, Can feel for man below. "O! Thou, whose view is ne'er estrang'd From innocence, preserve unchang'd Through life my darling's mind; Unchang'd in truth and purity, Still fearless of futurity, Still artless, though refin'd. "As oft his anxious nurse hath caught And sav'd his little hand that sought The bright, but treacherous, blaze; So let fair Wisdom keep him sure From glittering vices which allure, Through life's delusive maze. "Oh! may the ills which man enshroud, As shadows of a transient cloud, But shade, not stain my boy. Then may he gently drop to rest, Calm as a child by sleep oppress'd And wake to endless joy."
The dreams of Hope that round us play, And lead along our early youth, How soon, alas! they fade away Before the sober rays of Truth. And yet there are some joys in life That Fancy's pencil never drew; For Fancy's self, my own dear wife, Ne'er dreamt the bliss I owe to you. You have awaken'd in my breast Some chords I ne'er before had known; And you've imparted to the rest A stronger pulse, a deeper tone. And e'en the troubles that we find Our peace oft threat'ning to o'erwhelm, Like foreign foes, but serve to bind More close in love our little realm. I've not forgot the magic hour When youthful passion first I knew; When early love was in its flower, And bright with ev'ry rainbow hue. Then, fairy visions lightly moved, And waken'd rapture as they pass'd; But faith and love, like yours approved, Give joys that shall for ever last. A spotless wife's enduring love, A darling infant's balmy kiss, Breathe of the happiness above; Too perfect for a world like this. These heaven-sent pleasures seem too pure To take a taint from mortal breath; For, still unfading, they endure 'Mid sorrow, sickness, pain, and death. When cruel Palsy's withering blow Had left my father weak, forlorn, He yet could weep for joy, to know, I had a wish'd-for infant born. And, as he lay in death's embrace, You saw when last on earth he smil'd; You saw the ray that lit his face When he beheld our darling child. Strange, mingled scene of bliss and pain! That, like a dream, before us flies; Where, 'midst illusions false and vain, Substantial joys are seen to rise. When to your heart our babes you fold, With all a mother's joy elate, I fondly think that I behold A vision of our future state. Hope comes, with balmy influence fraught, To heal the wound that rends my heart, Whene'er it meets the dreadful thought That all our earthly ties must part. Bless'd hope, beyond earth's narrow space, Within high Heaven's eternal bound, Again to see your angel face, With all your cherubs clustering round. Oh! yes, there are some beams of light That break upon this world below, So pure, so steady, and so bright, They seem from better worlds to flow. Reflected images are seen Upon this transient stream of time, Through mists and shades that intervene, Of things eternal and sublime. Then let us rightly learn to know These heavenly messengers of love: They teach us whence true pleasures flow, And win our thoughts to joys above. And e'en when clouds roll o'er our head, Still let us turn our longing eyes To where Eternal Love has spread The changeless azure of the skies.
There is a language giv'n to flowers, By which a lover may impart The bitter anguish that devours, Or extacy that swells his heart. And all the feelings of the breast, Between the extremes of bliss and wo, By tender flow'rets are exprest, Or plants that in the wild wood grow. These new-cull'd blossoms which I send, With breath so sweet and tints so gay, I truly know not, my kind friend, In Flora's language what they say; Nor which one hue I should select, Nor how they all should be combin'd, That at a glance, you might detect The true emotions of my mind. But, as the rainbow's varied hues, If mingled in proportions right, All their distinctive radiance lose, And only show unspotted white, Thus, into one I would combine These colors that so various gleam, And bid this offering only shine With friendship's pure and tranquil beam.
Dread pestilence hath now fled far away; And life and health, once more, around us play; The din of commerce spreads from street to street; And parted friends with new warm'd friendship meet. Now many-colour'd nymphs, in noon-tide rows, To gazing eyes fresh-gather'd charms disclose. Welcome! all welcome to your wish'd abodes: But chiefly you who, skill'd in pleasure's modes, Forbid your thoughts on humbler themes to dwell, Receive the welcome of a veteran belle Whose heart's now dancing at the visions bright Of high exploits that play in fancy's sight. Now haste we to our winter's lov'd campaign, Arm'd for the glorious contests we maintain; For wars with all the rules grave matron's teach, Cold casuists applaud, or parsons preach. Courage! dear friends; our cause shall yet prevail. But there are notions, hatch'd from doctrines stale, 'Gainst which 'twere well your valorous souls to guard; For trifles oft e'en conquerors retard. We're told by moralists and dull divines That no pursuit becomes us which confines Our highest wishes to mere sensual joys, And thought of dread futurity destroys. They hold it not, indeed, true wisdom's part To wear grief's impress ever in the heart; But deem the oblivious temper of our mind For noble purposes by Heaven design'd; To aid mortality beneath the weight Of evils which oppress our tottering state; To check despair, and give our reason play; Reason, which calls from anxious cares away, And teaches to behold, with minds serene, The joys and ills that crowd life's motley scene. Try now this antique stuff by reason's test. All science and all rules of action rest On few clear principles assum'd as true. The rule we, frolic's children, keep in view Is this plain truth, whence all true precepts flow; Pleasure's the worthiest object man can know. Not pleasure felt by intellect alone; Nor dreams of bliss in distant prospect shown; But solid pleasure, present and secure; All that can flatter passion, sense allure. Let no vain fears this golden maxim hide, But let heart-chilling laws by this be tried; Then mark how emptily those croakers prate Of what beseems our frail inconstant state. Our frailty well we know; and 'tis for this We should forget futurity's abyss, And snatch from ruthless Time each proffered joy. Shall we, like drowsy dotards, e'er destroy Our blissful sports by thought? of ills the worst With which humanity by Heaven is curst? Thought! which forever tells some hateful truth; Says, wintry age must chill the glow of youth; To towering strength decrepitude foretells, And wrinkles to the cheek where beauty dwells? Drive, drive the fiend forever from your breasts; On thoughtlessness alone your pleasure rests. We late, you know, were chas'd by panic fears: 'Tis then but just to claim the due arrears Of pleasure thus detain'd, and to our store Of present joys add those withheld before. Let listless drones serenity approve; In no dull medium let us deign to move. Society is like a running wheel; All parts the same progressive impulse feel; And yet, towards happiness, the general end, These various parts with different motions tend. Calm conscientious minds the centre hold; While we are in the swift circumference roll'd. Those at the centre keep an even way; We in eccentric movements round them play. In quick vicissitudes we're whirl'd around; Now rais'd on high, now low upon the ground. We spurn the safe unchanging course they keep; And, while they calmly take their central sleep, We rush like wind, we make the sparkles fly; We raise the dust, and plunge through wet and dry; We splash the folk, and make the world all know Our rattling shall be heard where'er we go. "Enough of argument;" I hear you cry, "Where pleasure calls we'll like the lightning fly. "Come then, ye lofty favorers of the dance And splendid feast, whom fortune's gifts advance To eminence in Fashion's wide domain; Whose bright example leads a mimic train, With eager steps, your flowery paths to tread; Whose ire all deprecate with deeper dread Than wrath of Heav'n; for how can Heav'n assist The heart that mourns an invitation miss'd? Come forth with all your gay munificence, And teach mankind that true pre-eminence, True dignity, from outward grandeur springs; That they rise highest in the scale of things At whose command the guests most numerous throng; Whose halls ring oftenest with the dance and song; Who Nature's ill-fram'd laws most boldly slight; Convert the night to day, and day to night; Decrepitude in youthful sports engage; And teach to youth the confidence of age. "To arms! ye ever-ready belles, to arms! Arouse! ye gallant beaux, at Fashion's call. She, to excuse you from the feast or ball, Will heed no specious plea by sloth alleg'd. And chiefly you, ye beaux with chins unfledg'd, Who wisely quit your Algebra and Greek, True honor in our well-throng'd school to seek, Now quickly muster all your hopeful band, Train'd by our care, the glory of the land. How bright ye shine beyond those awkward clowns Who care for none but their preceptor's frowns; Who heed their noisy sports and cross-grain'd books More than the fairest fair-one's sweetest looks. "Men are too oft by this persuasion led; That care is due supremely to the head. But you, ne'er let your learned feet forget Their chassez, pigeon-wing and pirouette; And let mankind by your example know, The head's no worthier member than the toe. "Ye tawny minstrels; wake your viols sweet Whose measures guide our lightly tripping feet. Our life, depriv'd of you, were worse than death. Your heavenly notes are pleasure's vital breath. How oft does gloom the crowded hall pervade: In vain the hostess smiles, the beaux upbraid; The whispering murmurs rise, the gape goes round; Decorum's self in weariness is drown'd. But let your magic string's approaching twang Be heard, and feast of Comus sure ne'er rang With keener ecstacy and mirth more loud Than burst tumultuous from the wakening crowd. Thus, when some bark's becalm'd upon the deep, The listless passengers lie press'd with sleep And lassitude; the moments scarce creep by; And Sol seems weary as he climbs the sky. But, when the skilful mariner foresees, By tokens sure, a fair approaching breeze, Then instant life appears in every part; All spring alert, for joy fills every heart; With various notes the coming breeze they hail; Strain every rope, and set each swelling sail. "Ye powers of sport! I'm madden'd with delight By visions flying round, as meteors bright. Cotillions, concerts, fiddlers, mirth's whole train Of countless joys, rush wildly through my brain. Oh! may the phrenzy catch from soul to soul; May all who now own sober law's control Acknowledge law mere breath, mere ink and paper, And starch morality not worth a caper."
An idle swain late chanc'd to roam Beneath a grove's leaf-lattic'd dome, That near a verdant mount was plac'd Whose brow no title e'er had grac'd Till nymphs declared the mount should claim Sweet Harmony's inspiring name. Here, as the swain at even strayed, Wooed by the grove's sequester'd shade, With thoughts unfix'd, and vacant eye, And idly sad, he scarce knew why; A mournful spirit of the wood, Touch'd haply, by his kindred mood, Soft-sighing from a hawthorn near, Thus whisper'd in his wond'ring ear. "A sprite I was, in happier times, Disporting in the favor'd climes Of early Greece; when freedom's ray Bade mirth through all her regions play; When wood-nymphs with their huntress-queen, The muses and the loves were seen To sport, like fawns, beside each rill, And deck, like flow'rets, every hill, 'Twas then I serv'd the lighter joys Of rural nymphs and sylvan boys; And, sportive as the summer airs, Exulted in my frolic cares. "Oft, to a playful zephyr chang'd, Along the reedy banks I rang'd; Or, sighing o'er the oaten field, I tried the note each stalk would yield, In quest of dulcet tones to suit Some favor'd fawn's or shepherd's flute. "Oft, in a fleecy vapor's guise, The zephyrs bore me to the skies: Where, 'midst the clouds with thunder fraught, The rainbow's brightest tints I caught; Then, melting into finest dews, Distributed the lovely hues To opening buds, or full-blown flowers, Round naiad's couch, or wood-nymph's bowers. "Oft, in a virgin lily's bell, I caught the purest dews that fell, With chaste suffusion to supply Some weeping Muse's languid eye. For, tears that from the Muses flow, Unlike the drops of vulgar wo, Emit the dew's inconstant gleam, And soon are chas'd by pleasure's beam--- "Dear airy partners in delight! Who skimm'd, like mists, the mountain's height, Or danc'd along the limpid stream Illum'd by freedom's golden beam! Ye perish'd in the floods and gales That ruin'd all our smiling vales, And chill'd and wither'd every bloom In tyranny's detested gloom! "A fiend that in the tempest flew On wing still wet with stygian dew Rapt me in a hurling blast Athwart the ocean's dreary vast; And set me, with infernal spell, In this sequester'd grove to dwell. Here, in my lonely prison bound, Beset with dire enchantments round, I've seen whole ages ling'ring go, With scarce a solace for my wo; Till late, beneath the neighb'ring shades, Methought a band of Tempe's maids, With all their wonted mirth elate, Came, destin'd by relenting fate, Their long, long rovings here to cease, And charm my anguish into peace. For, as they gambol'd o'er the green, Once more I saw Arcadia's scene; Again I heard each well-lov'd voice That bade the Aonian hills rejoice. But soon the lovely vision pass'd. Through lonely shades now sweeps the blast. Where, late, the fairy-footed throng Prolong'd the dance, or pour'd the song. If e'er thy bosom, gentle swain, Was touch'd with sympathetic pain, Hie thee to where the nymphs now dwell, And all my sorrows kindly tell. And say, if e'er this lone retreat Their lovely band again shall greet, I'll wake my long-neglected powers; Refine the dews, new-tint the flowers. I'll fringe the trees with speckled moss, And give their leaves a finer gloss. The painted fly shall learn to fling Sweet odors from his gaudy wing. I'll winnow, with my silken sails, Each noxious breath that taints the gales; With sweeter strains the birds inspire, And lead, myself, the tuneful choir.
To hail thy natal day, fair maid, Once more I wake the lyre; Once more invoke each favoring muse My accents to inspire. But frown not if my humble strain No soothing homage pay To all the charms that grace thy mind, Or round thy features play. Alas! the brightest charms but yield A taper's trembling light; When fann'd by praise, awhile they glare, Then vanish from the sight; Or, like the soft unsullied snows That fall in graceful play, They shrink beneath the gentlest touch, And, silent, melt away. Nor shall the Muse thy foibles mark With keen relentless eye, That seem like clouds of lightest wing That speck the vernal sky. O! may young life's empurpled morn, Still mantling round thy head, Its balmly airs of youthful hope, with kindest influence, shed. May every cloud of darker hue, Ere evening shades advance, Dissolve away, or just be seen To skirt the blue expanse. And may soft tints of rosy light, With gold of purest ray, Their mild effulgence widely throw Around thy closing day.
Accept, dear Doctor, my unfeigned thanks For Paganini's skull and claws and shanks, And all the wreathed string of bones, beside, That seem to grate within his shrivelled hide. One would have thought, while yet the mimic form Lay snugly in its wrappers, soft and warm, That 'twas the cast of some fat gouty fellow, With food surcharg'd, with wine and wassail, mellow. And, when the spectral figure was uprear'd, It still, the prey of strong disease appear'd; Like some sad victim, doom'd to writhe and twist Beneath the gripe of fierce Podagra's fist. Who would believe this skeleton possess'd Of sov'reign empire o'er the human breast? Of power to waken sorrow, fear, or rage; And then, the bosom's tumult, to assuage?--- Ye deep phrenologists, say, can ye tell Within what secret caves these wonders dwell? What covert way, what faintly shadow'd line Leads to the cell of Genius? spark divine! Genius! that thing inexplicably strange, That knows no measure to its boundless range; That, in the lowest depth or giddiest height, Still marks its path with beams of radiant light; Whose touch can free ten thousand hidden springs, And waken powers unknown, in humblest things; Can give to each a portion of its fire; And, with a fiddle, rapturous joys inspire.
The troubles of an Organist I sing; His duties and his pleasures too. Nor is his charge a light and trifling thing, If to his station he be true. 'Tis oft his task, a high and holy end, By humblest agents, to attain; To teach th' Almighty's praises to ascend From simpering minstrels, pert and vain. When none but thoughts religious, gentle, kind, Should reign within the sacred choir, It is his lot, too often, there to find Low bickerings, envy, mutual ire. Such jarring instruments must be combine; To harmonize such discords, strive; Breathings like these unite with themes divine, To keep devotion's fire alive. When to each voice its part he hath assign'd, And all seems right and order'd well, Some lurking discontent he oft will find, Some spirit anxious to rebel. And where the springs of mental discord lie 'Mid vocal harmony conceal'd, A touch may bid the choir to fragments fly, Like blow on glass that's unanneal'd. One deems it to her dignity a slight In rank of second to be plac'd; Another claims a solo as his right; And in a chorus feels disgrac'd. Oft 'tis the sense of interest alone That death to harmony prevents; And, as in other things, here too is shown The might of dollars and of cents. To vex him too, the organ-bellows squeak, Or finest notes get out of tune; Some pipes seem sulky, and refuse to speak, While some, loquacious, speak too soon. When to emotions that his soul expand He would, in noble strains, give vent, And fills with richest harmony each hand, 'Tis chance, the wind is nearly spent. And all his thoughts sublime to fury change At him who should the bellows ply; While th' organ utters fading notes so strange, They seem to mock him as they die. Such, in this life, our lot! What's noble, grand, What bids the thoughts to Heav'n ascend, May on the working of a menial hand, Or on a breath of air depend. But when all's done that human pow'r can do To make his duties smooth and light, And movements noiseless glide, and notes are true, Then let him see his heart be right. For not on purity and depth of tone, On science link'd with manual skill And fancy's flights, must he depend alone His sacred duty to fulfil. The gifts of Nature, be they e'er so high, With all that art can teach, combin'd, Cannot avail the artist to supply The want of a religious mind. He finds it not a victory so hard To make the conquest of his art, As from vain worldly thoughts to guard The secret movements of his heart. Oh! sacred harmony! what lawless feet within thy precincts boldly tread! What vain and reckless triflers there we meet, Where all should feel a holy dread! Hence, wanton trills and sliding semitones, Light-finger'd runs and turns misplac'd, Bravuras, from the stage, and love-sick moans, With which God's worship is disgrac'd. But in this world of discord and of strife, A beam from Heav'n may reach us still, And give the organist both heart and life His arduous duties to fulfil. For when, obedient to his skilful hand, In full accord sweet voices rise, And holy zeal inspires the sacred band, He mounts in spirit to the skies. Yes, these are moments of excitement high, Which hours of misery repay; Which call big tears of rapture to his eye, and snatch him from this world away.
On a warm sunny day, in the midst of July, A lazy young pig lay stretched out in his sty, Like some of his betters, most solemnly thinking That the best things on earth are good eating and drinking. At length, to get rid of the gnats and the flies, He resolv'd, from his sweet meditations to rise; And, to keep his skin pleasant, and pliant, and cool, He plung'd him, forthwith, in the next muddy pool. When, at last, he thought fit to arouse from his bath, A conceited young rooster came just in his path: A precious smart prig, full in vanity drest, Who thought, of all creatures, himself far the best. "Hey day! little grunter, why where in the world Are you going so perfum'd, pomatum'd, and curl'd? Such delicate odors my senses assail, And I see such a sly looking twist in your tail, That you, sure are intent on some elegant sporting; Hurra! I believe, on my life, you are courting; And that figure which moves with such exquisite grace, Combin'd with the charms of that soft-smiling face, In one who's so neat and adorn'd with such art, Cannot fail to secure the most obdurate heart. And much joy do I wish you, both you and your wife, For the prospect you have of a nice pleasant life." "Well, said, master Dunghill," cried Pig in a rage, "You're doubtless, the prettiest beau of the age, With those sweet modest eyes staring out of your head, And those lumps of raw flesh, all so bloody and red. Mighty graceful you look with those beautiful legs, Like a squash or a pumpkin on two wooden pegs. And you've special good reason your own life to vaunt, And the pleasures of others with insult to taunt; Among crackling fools, always clucking or crowing, And looking up this way and that way, so knowing, And strutting and swelling, or stretching a wing, To make you admired by each silly thing; and so full of your own precious self, all the time, That you think common courtesy almost a crime; As if all the world was on the look out To see a young rooster go scratching about." Hereupon, a debate, like a whirlwind arose, Which seem'd fast approaching to bitings and blows; 'Mid squeaking and grunting, Pig's arguments flowing; And Chick venting fury 'twixt screaming and crowing. At length, to decide the affair, 'twas agreed That to counsellor Owl they should straightway proceed; While each, in his conscience, no motive could show, But the laudable wish to exult o'er his foe. Other birds, of all feather, their vigils were keeping, While Owl, in his nook, was most learnedly sleeping: For, like a true sage, he preferred the dark night, When engaged in his work, to the sun's blessed light. Each stated his plea, and the owl was required To say whose condition should most be desired. It seem'd to the judge a strange cause to be put on, To tell which was better, a fop or a glutton; Yet, like a good lawyer, he kept a calm face, And proceeded, by rule, to examine the case; With both his round eyes gave a deep-meaning wink, And, extending one talon, he set him to think. In fine, with a face much inclin'd for a joke, And a mock solemn accent, the counsellor spoke -- "'Twixt Rooster and Roaster, this cause to decide, Would afford me, my friends, much profesional pride. Were each on the table serv'd up, and well dress'd, I could easily tell which I fancied the best; But while both here before me, so lively I see, This cause is, in truth, too important for me; Without trouble, however, among human kind, Many dealers in questions like this you may find. Yet, one sober truth, ere we part, I would teach -- That the life you each lead is best fitted for each. 'Tis the joy of a cockerel to strut and look big, And, to wallow in mire, is the bliss of a pig. But, whose life is more pleasant, when viewed in itself, Is a question had better be laid on the shelf, Like many which puzzle deep reasoners' brains, And reward them with nothing but words for their pains. So now, my good clients, I have been long awake, And I pray you, in peace, your departure to take. let each one enjoy, with content, his own pleasure, Nor attempt, by himself, other people to measure." Thus ended the strife, as does many a fight; Each thought his foe wrong, and his own notions right. Pig turn'd, with a grunt, to his mire anew, And He-biddy, laughing, cried -- cock-a-doodle-doo.
Now when the breath of coming Spring Steals fitful on the air; When faithful swains their true-loves sing, And birds begin to pair, In sportive mood, I thought to send A mimic valentine, To teaze awhile, my little friend, That merry heart of thine. I thought, with well-invented strain, The semblance to assume Of heart-struck beau or pining swain Fast hast'ning to the tomb. But anxious care soon chas'd away The frolic from my mind. Yet still, though mirth refuse to stay, True friendship's left behind. Then take kind wishes from a friend, In place of laughing mirth; Though well I know the gifts I send Are dullest things on earth. And yet, that sober thing, good will, When heartless glee is past, with peaceful joy the soul may fill, Unchanging to the last. Wearied of Folly's gaudy scene, How pleas'd the languid eye Rests on the meadow's quiet green, Or seeks the azure sky! Thus, bubbles mantling in the glass, That vanish ere they're quaff'd, May leave behind them, when they pass, A pure and tranquil draught. Now, young life's vista, to your sight, Of endless length appears; And countless visions of delight Dispel obtrusive fears. And youth and health around you bloom: The world's all bright and new; And ev'ry floweret sheds perfume; And ev'ry heart seems true. May favoring Heaven continue still These blessings to impart; And may it soon the hope fulfil That's next each fair-one's heart! And why should not each gentle breast Confess the general law; 'Tis Nature can instruct us best Whence truest bliss to draw. While woodland songsters plume their wings, With mutual love elate, Why should the sweetest bird that sings Still roam without a mate?
I'll drink my glass of generous wine; And what concern is it of thine Thou self-erected censor pale, Forever watching to assail Each honest, open-hearted fellow Who takes his liquor ripe and mellow, And feels delight, in moderate measure, With chosen friends to share his pleasure? Without the aid of pledge or vow, I hold me temperate quite as thou; But that which virtue's course I deem Keeps clear from ev'ry rash extreme. If ev'ry good must be refus'd That may by mortals be abus'd, E'en abstinence may be excess, And prove a curse, when meant to bless. If by the notions of the throng I must be taught what's right and wrong, In pity's name, my sober friend, Say where would be my lesson's end? Each gives me his peculiar view Of what he holds as false or true. Whate'er I drink, whate'er I eat, Will some objector's censure meet. Whate'er I wont, whate'er I will, Meets with fierce opposition still. Coffee and tea affect the nerves; Who swallows wine, the devil serves; And he that dares a stronger drink Must soon to deep perdition sink. Another sneeringly maintains That water animalcul* contains; And, that to be from harm secure, We ne'er should drink it fresh and pure, But boil it till from life 'tis free, Then swallow it in punch or tea. One thinks it rational and right To take as guide your appetite. Another at all food's provok'd Save flinty crusts in water soak'd. And would I from opinion draw My moral or religious law, And, to suit all, a code complete, All contradictions there must meet. Woe to the man whose feeble mind No rooted principle can find; But, by the fashion of the day, From sober sense is led away; Afraid to follow Nature's laws, Lest he oppose the temperance cause; Quits common use and common sense, Lest some weak brother take offence; Yet pines in secret that he's bound To pass the cup untasted round Amid his friends who, conscience free, Indulge in harmless social glee; And oft will seek, nor seek in vain, Some subterfuge to break his chain; Find out disorders that require What's prompted only by desire; Will ask some doctor to prescribe; And turn his vow to jest and gibe. And 'tis, I fear, too true, alas! That oft th' intoxicating glass, In secret swallow'd, and by stealth, Degrades the mind and mars the health. Nor is it hid from any eye, That they who alcohol decry, Virginia's weed will chew or smoke, Or opium's treach'rous aid invoke, And raise for abstinence a clatter 'Mid clouds of smoke, and spit and spatter. Nor urge th' example we should show To those of an estate more low. His life the best example gives Who after Nature's dictates lives; Which, rightly view'd, are laws of God, And point to paths with safety trod. As well might you restrain the breeze That sweeps the main and bends the trees, Or bid the sun no mists excite, That cloud the sky and dim his light, As strive to make mankind agree To lead their lives from turmoil free. No lot so low, no mind so meek That will not for excitement seek. Nature in bounds unnatural pent Will find some new and dangerous vent. Awhile, the blood you may restrain; But, held too tight, 'twill burst the vein. If there be found no other sport, To feuds and strife will men resort; And, mid war's spirit-stirring notes, Amuse themselves with cutting throats. E'en they who blame the social cup Seek means to stir the spirits up; And various stimulants they find Wherewith to intoxicate the mind. Hence all the temperance bustle comes Of marshal'd files, with trumps and drums; Banners bright, processions long, Bands of music, speeches, song. Temperance meetings, temperance halls, Temperance concerts, temperance balls; All that keen politicians know Can blind you with a specious show, By which your temp'rance cause promoters Hope for a sturdy band of voters. These follies soon may pass away, And prove but fashions of a day, But there's one pageant meets my eyes, At which indignant feelings rise: Children I see paraded round, In badges deck'd, with ribbons bound, And banners floating o'er their head, Like victims to the slaughter led. Ye self-made legislators, how Presume ye to exact a vow Or ask a pledge, for aye to bind Childhood's unthinking, embryo mind? How can ye dare to fill a child, Whose spirits should be free and wild, And only love to run and romp, With vanity and pride and pomp? How can ye answer for the woe Which many a man, by you, shall know, Who dares the promise to renounce You bade him, when a child, pronounce, Yet still within his bosom keeps A gnawing worm that never sleeps? Come then, your glasses fill, my boys. Few and inconstant are the joys That come to cheer this world below; But nowhere do they brighter flow Than where kind friends convivial meet, 'Mid harmless glee and converse sweet. There's truth in wine, 'tis truly said. Ye then who feel a secret dread Your thoughts and feelings to declare, The influence of wine beware: In strong relief and colors true It brings both good and ill to view. Take salts, and seidlitz, and blue pills; Purge out your bile, that source of ills; And, till you have a purer soul, Touch not the truth-betraying bowl. But you who feel all right within; No secret malice, lurking sin; No passion dangerous to awake; Refuse not sometimes to partake The moderate glass, which doth impart New warmth and feeling to the heart; Commands more generous thoughts to rise, And adds more strength to friendship's ties; Gives witty thoughts an edge more keen, And bids retiring worth be seen; Gives to the soul of modest youth A bolder voice in cause of truth; By Prudence measur'd, serves t'assuage The dreary cold of wintry age; Impels the blood, with bolder rush, To lighten up th' indignant blush That throws its flashes o'er the ice Of selfish, calculating vice; And, in the mind that's pure and wise, Bids glowing thoughts and visions rise, That, beaming with unsullied light, Shun neither Reason's nor Religion's sight. If such thy virtues, generous wine! Thy pleasures will I ne'er resign While health remains, nor e'er refuse, In praise of thee, t' invoke the Muse.
Away with all your wine-fill'd casks! To atoms shatter all your flasks; And waste the liquor, old and new, Extoll'd by Bacchus' wanton crew, 'Mid revelry and empty laugh, With senses maddening, as they quaff The potion that destroys All taste of real joys, And brings to earth the soaring mind, And leaves it dismal, drench'd and blind. To me you hold the glass in vain Of foaming, dancing, bright champaigne. Talk not to me of generous wine That grows along the banks of Rhine; Nor boast your well-assorted stock Of choice Madeira, Port, and Hock, Of Sherry, Burgundy and Claret, Close stow'd in cellar and in garret! Though drunkards may their worth extol, They're but the brood of Alcohol, That d*mon sent, in Heaven's ire, Breathing out infernal fire, And raging with intense desire The host of damned souls to swell, And rouse new uproar in the depths of hell. Water is the best of things! So sang a famous bard of old--- Then lead me to pure gushing springs, Or pebbly runnels clear and cold, Or margin of transparent lake, Or streamlet from the crystal pool. My burning thirst there let me slake; My parched lips there let me cool. Would you untainted pleasures know, Seek where the mountain waters flow; And near them dwell, and from them dip The only drink that wets your lip, Save milk fresh drawn from lowing herds, Or wholesome whey of milk-white curds. So shall the current in each vein Flow gently, and no gouty pain E'er rack your joints or cloud your brain; No morbid cravings vex your soul To quaff th' intoxicating bowl; No pois'nous fumes your breath inflame; No tremors agitate your frame; No goblin visions of the night E'er haunt your slumbers pure and light That softly leave your opening eyes, Like dews that in the sunbeam rise, And yield refreshment to the mind, Nor leave, when gone, a stain behind; No vertigos your brain perplex; No bursts of rage your bosom vex; No burning stimulants excite A false and morbid appetite, Forever raging after food That genders in the frame a brood Of ills that scourge us like a pest, At gorging surfeit's dire behest, From which no healing power can save The victims hast'ning to an early grave. Nor ever tempted to obey Unruly passion's lawless sway, The influence of Virtue's balm Shall give your soul a sacred calm; While bracing breath of mountain air Shall nerve your frame, fatigue to bear, And free your mind from boding care. Your stream of life shall even glide, Not with an ebbing, flowing tide; But to its final outlet go With quiet unperceived flow. To this pure element I'll raise, While breath endures, my notes of praise. Whether, to fertilize the plains, It soft descend in gentle rains, Or rush forth gaily from the hills, In torrents loud and gurgling rills, Or flow 'mid sands of purest white, Or shine o'er pebbles clean and bright, Or through the verdant meadow creep, Or swift from rock to rock it leap; Howe'er disguis'd by Nature's power, In chrystal ice or snowy shower; Whether to open sight reveal'd, Or in the ambient air conceal'd; In misty vapor if it rest Upon some lofty mountain's breast, In clouds bedeck the welkin blue, Or, heav'n-distill'd, descend in dew; In earth or sky, wherever found, The praise of water I'll resound. Of all the pure perennial springs With which our native land is blest, My mem'ry loves the Muse that sings Of one fair fount above the rest. He that would purer nectar drink Than Hebe e'er pour'd out to Jove, Must haste to Lehi's verdant brink, And there, in sultry season, rove. 'Mid shades he shall a rock perceive With bosom hollow'd to receive A secret spring; yet to the eye, At first, 'twill seem all void and dry, And not, until he draw more near, Shall he observe a pool so clear, So cool, so colorless and pure, That even Bacchus 'twould allure To leave his wine and favorite lass, And cool his palate with a glass. E'en Jove himself would give the nod, And brand it liquor for a god. Ye Nymphs and Naiads who preside O'er chrystal founts and streams that glide Throughout our land, dispensing wealth, Imparting beauty, life and health, Fain would I, in my verse prolong The honors that to you belong; But I am caution'd by the Muse One favorite from the rest to choose, To whom our native city owes The warmest eulogy that flows From orator's or poet's lips; 'Tis she who gay and sportive trips O'er Croton's rude and rocky banks, With lighter foot and wilder pranks Than woodland deer or mountain fawn Upspringing at the break of dawn. Crotona! be thy honor'd name The theme of never-dying fame! And be thou Naiad, Nymph, or Sprite, Thy praise shall be my chief delight. The Muse once saw her, in a frolic hour, Disporting in a summer shower; From rock to rock, from ledge to ledge, Bounding along her river's edge, Laughing like a needless child, With looks as innocent and wild; And naught thrown o'er her graceful form To shield it from the raging storm, Save her own locks in many a fold, That, dripping, look'd like molten gold. With laugh suppress'd and half-clos'd eyes, She now would to the dropping skies Her face upturn and catch the rain That rudely pelted her in vain; Of storm, nor wet was she afraid; For in her element she play'd. With uprais'd arm and drooping hand, She, ever and anon, would stand, And watch the pearly drops descend From ev'ry taper finger's end; Or smile to see the hail rebound Light from her shoulder to the ground. And when the sun, with fervid ray, Had chas'd the wat'ry clouds away, She gaily spread her golden hair, And wav'd it in the drying air; Then o'er her temples graceful wound, With many a ringlet flowing round. And when the Muse she chanc'd to spy Beholding her with laughing eye, With rapid foot she touch'd the wave, And, at the signal which she gave, A wreathed mist the stream upsent, With shining dew-drops all besprent, That, like soft down with mingled pearls, Enwrap'd her limbs and flowing curls. And dancing spray, around her head, Such brilliant rainbow colors shed, That while in fitful mood they gleam'd, A bird of paradise she seem'd. In conscious beauty's happiest mood, A moment, she exulting stood; Then to the Muse she wav'd adieu, And in her grotto vanish'd from the view. Pure water! thus if thou dost flow With blessings to this world of woe; If such the powers that round thee throng, Be thou my only drink, my only song!
Go envied glove, with anxious care, From scorching suns and withering air, Belinda's hand to guard. And let no folds offend the sight; Nor let thy seams, perversely tight, With hasty rents be marr'd. Nor fear the fate that oft attends On truest faith and long-tried friends--- With shame to be displac'd. You'll ne'er be own'd by menial hag; Nor e'er in form of button-bag Or thumb-stall be disgrac'd. Ere envious time shall bid thee rue The loss of this thy spotless hue That now excels the snow, Some swain, who for Belinda sighs, Shall bear thee off, a richer prize Than monarchs could bestow. By him, in triumph, thou'lt be borne, And in his faithful bosom worn, No! never thence to part. What earthly lot can thine excel? First on Belinda's hand to dwell, Then, near a constant heart.
My ear still vibrates with thy sweet command; still, tremulous, I hold thy parting hand; I see thy smile still witching me away; Yet must this willing heart still disobey. Yes, lovely tempter, yes, I must forego A transient bliss that leaves a lasting woe. In shades I dwell where each severer Muse, And thought, and silence, spread their pallid hues. But when I bask beneath the melting rays Of joyous rosy light that round thee plays, At thought of these my solitary shades, A chilling horror all my frame pervades. The Graces that around thee lightly trip, The Joys that laugh upon thy ruby lip, The flutt'ring Loves that, watchful to beguile, Direct thy glance and lurk beneath thy smile, They mar my soul for contemplation's powers, For learning's rugged paths and weary hours, For deep research that strains the mental eye, and daring thoughts that soar beyond the sky. Glide on, sweet maid, in pleasure's gilded barque, Still blithe and tuneful as the morning lark; Still let the melting music of thy tongue Delight the old and captivate the young; Still, laughing, lead along the sportive train Whose breasts can feel no deep-devouring pain: But Oh! if e'er thou mark some gentle youth, In whose fond breast dwell loyalty and truth, Let not a conquest's momentary bliss Tempt thee to trifle with a heart like tis. The breast which generous love and honor swell Is sacred as the fane where Angels dwell: The sacrilege that tempts its holy fire Fails not to rouse a guardian Spirit's ire. Go now, and may thy heaven-attemper'd mind, Ere long, some pure congenial spirit find; Some swift etherial soul, that shall delight To chase and take thee in thy wildest flight. Nor let thy flights and folies chase away All thought of him who pours this parting lay; whose bosom, mingled pains and tumults swell While thus he bids farewell -- a sad farewell!
Ye sacred Sisters; not for you, this strain: You heed no minstrelsy of earth-strung lyre; The softest siren notes would sound in vain To ears impatient for the heavenly choir. But who that toils through life's rough devious way, If some fair prospect open on his sight, Seeks not his fellow wanderer's steps to stay, And make them partners in his own delight? Turn then, all ye who, with indignant mind, Behold the vileness of this mortal state; Where craft and guile on ev'ry hand you find, With all the forms of selfishness and hate; Here let your misanthropic brow unbend, And warmest feelings of the heart expand; For, if to earth some gleams of Heaven descend, They sure must light upon this sacred band. And ye who sport beneath the golden beams That o'er youth's jocund morning shed their light; To whom the downward path of life still seems Immeasurably distant from the sight; Oh! think me not a censor cold and stern, A frowning foe to all that's bright and gay, If, for a moment, I would have you turn, And see these Sisters tread their holy way. I would not bid fierce superstition's power Bear down your minds, in sullen gloom to grope: I would not overcloud one radiant hour, Nor crush one rising bud of youthful hope: But stay awhile, nor all your moments waste For joys inconstant as the vernal sky. You here may deep, though silent pleasure taste, Whose impress on the soul shall never die. For how can earth present a goodlier scene, Or what can waken rapture more refin'd, Than dauntless courage, silent and serene, With maiden gentleness and love combin'd? Behold in yon receptacle of wo, Where victims of disease assembled lie, That gliding form, with noiseless footstep go, From couch to couch, her angel task to ply. She dwells 'mid sounds and sights of pain and death; The feeble plaint, the involuntary cry, The fierce convulsive throw, the fainting breath, The heaving groan, the deep-drawn burning sigh. Oh! child of frolic, in whose giddy brain Delusive Fancy's ever on the wing, Think you this holy maid knows naught but pain? That in her path no lovely flowrets spring? Gay visions round your pillow nightly throng; The morning ramble and the evening dance, The rout, the feast, the soul-entrancing song, The flatterer's whisper, and the lover's glance. Around her couch, no brilliant phantoms play; No airy spectre of past pleasure flies: But deeds of mercy which have mark'd the day Give tranquil slumber to her tear-stain'd eyes. They're precious gems, those tears that wet her cheek; Worth more than all the treasures earth can show. The noblest language of the heart they speak; From high and holy ecstacy they flow. Her feelings ye alone can understand Whose deeds have wak'd the sufferer's grateful prayer; Who've felt the pressure of the dying hand; Sweet recompense of all your pious care. No sad nor strange reverse her pleasures dread; Of time and chance, they mock the strong control. Her Heaven-aspiring virtues ever shed A cloudless light upon her peaceful soul. The baubles that command this world's esteem No resting place within her mind can gain: Like idle motes that cross the solar beam They serve to make her spirit's course more plain. Yes! such this sacred band; such peace is theirs; Unchang'd when days shine bright or tempests lower. Through life they pass, untainted by its cares; When death draws near, they gladly hail his power. And then, like birds that seek a better clime, On swift untiring wing their spirits rise, And gladly leave this turbid stream of time, To take their homeward progress through the skies.
For you, my Margaret dear, I have no art To sing a jocund hymeneal strain: What rises strong and deep within the heart Must ever have some touch, at least, of pain. Nor know I that the bird of merriest lay Gives happiest omen in the bridal hour; That gaudy flowers, with brilliant tints and gay, May best adorn the sacred nuptial bower. But think me not of mind morose and sad, Where naught but sullen censure finds abode, If, in the midst of voices blithe and glad, I greet you with a song of graver mode. The glow on pleasure's cheek, it is not this That always tells where heartfelt joys appear; The hidden wellsprings of our purest bliss Are oft betoken'd by the gushing tear. I am not like the parent bird that tries To lure its young one from the fostering home; That gladly sees its new-fledg'd offspring rise On outspread wing, in distant shades to roam: Yet I were form'd in Nature's sternest mood, Did not my inmost soul with you rejoice, To see your lot amid the wise and good, The gentlest friends, the husband of your choice. Mysterious bond, that kindred souls unites! Great law of nature hallowed from above! Bless'd remnant of lost Eden's pure delights! The sum of all our bliss -- connubial love! Oh, holy flame! seraphic influence mild! Sweet incense, kindled by celestial ray! For ever warm the bosom of my child, And gently sooth her through life's rugged way! And you, my child, while yet your life is strong, While in the calm of peace your thoughts repose, Prepare for ills that to our state belong, And arm you to contend with numerous foes. For many ills unseen beset us round, And many foes within ourselves we raise. What sudden checks in smoothest paths are found! How few and fleeting are our golden days! At Hymen's altar when we plight our truth, For better and for worse, we thoughtless say; We dream of only good; the heart of youth Drives ev'ry fear of distant ills away. Till death do part, how gaily we repeat When joy and health are in their prime and strength: Life is a vista then whose borders meet; So endless, to our fancy, seems its length. But oh! how soon we pass this endless track, That, like perspective art, deludes our view: And, when we turn and on our path look back, How short the distance! and our steps how few! Trust not the gilded mists and clouds that rise Where flattering Hope and fickle Fancy reign; But turn from these, and seek with anxious eyes The clear bright atmosphere of Truth's domain. Ascend, full oft, her highest vantage ground, And look beyond the circuit of this earth. Review the things its narrow limits bound; And, with her guidance, learn to scan their worth. Nor think that with relentless stern regard She frowns on all our fleeting pleasures here. Believe me, no true joys by her are marr'd, But, in her light, more lovely they appear. And now, while youth and health are in their bloom, Why should you dread to look beyond this state? The traveller's pleasure knows no boding gloom Because the charms of home his steps await. Thus, like the compass, shall your tranquil soul, With one wish'd haven steady in its view, Though tempest rage and threat'ning billows roll, Rest even-pois'd, and point for ever true.
Southey, I love the magic of thy lyre, That calms, at will, or sets the soul on fire; Whose changeful notes through ev'ry mode can stray, From deep-toned horror to the sprighliest lay. In Fancy's wilds with you I love to roam, Where all things strange and monstrous make their home. And when from wild imagination's dreams You wake to holy or heroic themes, My spirit owns the impulse of your strains; My circling blood flows freer through my veins. Yet not amid these wonders of your art I find the trembling key-note of my heart. 'Tis not the depth and strength of tone that bring Responsive murmurs from a neighboring string. Soft sympathetic sounds and tremors rise Only from chords attun'd to harmonize. 'Tis when you pour the simple plaintive strain That tells a fond bereaved parent's pain, 'Tis when you sing of dear ones gone to rest, I feel each fibre vibrate in my breast. Alas! too well, bereavement's pangs I know; Too well, a parent's and a husband's woe. To crown the num'rous blessings of my life, I had sweet children and a lovely wife. All seem'd so firm, so ordered to endure, That, fool! I fancied all around secure. Heav'n seem'd to smile; Hope whisper'd to my heart, These love-wrought ties shall never rudely part; But Time, with slow advance and gentle hand, Shall loosen, one by one, each sacred band. The old shall first drop peaceful in the tomb, And leave the young to fill their vacant room. Life's pleasures shall not wither at a blow, But quiet pass, with mild decay and slow. The buoyant joys of youth, so bright and fair, Like rainbow tints, shall mellow into air. But sad reality has prov'd how vain This faithless prospect of a dreaming brain. Death's icy hand, within three fleeting years, Has chang'd this scene of bliss to sighs and tears. One lovely innocent was snatch'd away -- A rose-bud, not half-open'd to the day -- I saw my wife, then to the grave descend, Beloved of my heart, my bosom friend. So interwoven were our joys, our pains, That, as I weeping follow'd her remains, I thought to tell her of the mournful scene -- I could not realize the gulph between. This was not all; there was another blow Reserv'd to put the finish to my woe. A sweet endearing creature, perish'd last, In youth's first spring, all childhood's dangers past -- Oh! awful trial of religion's power, To see a suffering innocent's last hour! But mark me well -- I would not change one jot Of Heaven's decrees, to meliorate my lot: Farewell to early bliss, to all that's bright! No thought rebels; I know, I feel 'tis right. Nor should I mourn as though of all bereft: Some transient pleasures, here and there, are left; Some short-liv'd flowers that in the forest bloom, And scatter fragrance in the settled gloom. I look not round, and peevishly repine, As though no other sorrow equall'd mine. I boast no proud preeminence of pain -- But oh! these spectres that infest my brain! My death-struck child, with nostrils breathing wide, Turning in vain, for ease, from side to side; The fitful flush that lit her half-closed eye, And burned her sunken cheek; her plaintive cry; Her dying gasp; and as she sank to rest, Her wither'd hands cross'd gently o'er her breast. My dying wife's emaciated form, So late, with youthful spirit fresh and warm. The deep, but noiseless anguish of her mind At leaving all she lov'd on earth behind. The silent tear that down her cheek would stray, And wet the pillow where resign'd she lay. Her stiffen'd limbs, all powerless and weak; Her clay-cold parting kiss; her pale damp cheek; Her awful prayer for mercy, at the last, Fainter and fainter, till her spirit pass'd -- The image of the next lov'd suffer too Is ever, ever present to my view. Her cease cough -- her quick and panting breath, With all the dreadful harbingers of death. No anxious mother watching at her side, To whisper consolation as she died. Oh! do not ask me why I thus complain To you a stranger, far across the main -- Bear with a bleeding heart that loves to tell Its sorrows, and on all pangs to dwell. A strange relief the mourner's bosom knows In clinging close and closer to its woes. In unheard plaints it consolation finds, And weeps and murmurs to the heedless winds.
What! My sweet little Sis, in bed all alone; No light in your room! And your nursy too gone! And you, like a good child, are quietly lying, While some naughty ones would be fretting or crying? Well, for this you must have something pretty, my dear; And, I hope, will deserve a reward too next year. But, speaking of crying, I'm sorry to say Your screeches and screams, so loud ev'ry day, Were near driving me and my goodies away. Good children I always give good things in plenty; How sad to have left your stocking quite empty: But you are beginning so nicely to spell, And, in going to bed, behave always so well, That, although I too oft see the tear in your eye, I cannot resolve to pass you quite by. I hope, when I come here again the next year, I shall not see even the sign of a tear. And then, if you get back your sweet pleasant looks, And do as you're bid, I will leave you some books, Some toys, or perhaps what you still may like better, And then too may write you a prettier letter. At present, my dear, I must bid you good bye; Now, do as you're bid; and, remember, don't cry.
Now let us hope, my Fanny dear, That Spring will not delay With smiling features to appear And chase the cold away. How welcome after frost and snow, And trees in ice all clad, To feel the Southern breezes blow, And see all nature glad! Then, birds return'd from climes remote, Their joyous carols blend, And seem to pour, each one, the note Of a returning friend. The silent dews and gentle showers And brooks from frost set free Then softly wake the sleeping flowers And blossoms of the tree. The roses spread their bosoms wide, And breathe the open air, While swelling rosebuds, Flora's pride, Keep forth all sweet and fair. But let them breathe on zephyr's wing The sweest breath they can, There's not a rosebud of the spring So sweet as little Fan.
While older people send their loves On Valentine's bright merry morn, And write of Cupids, darts and doves, And hopeful hearts and hearts forlorn, A merry child, who knows no art, To Clem, her jumping playmate boy, Sends wishes, that, like her's, his heart May ever dance with life and joy. Soon may the wintry winds be check'd, And southern breezes melt the snow, With wild-flowers all the meads be deck'd, And sweetest roses round you blow. What joy to see the blooming trees! To hear the birds exulting sing! To sniff the fragrant vernal breeze! And hail the glories of the Spring!
All Nature, bound in icy chain, Now strives her freedom to regain, And breathe a kindlier air. Soon shall the cooing of the dove, With other notes of joy and love, The coming Spring declare. The sun darts forth a warmer ray, And calls, throughout the length'ning day, Upon the sleeping flowers. All living creatures seem to feel An influence thro' their senses steal That renovates their powers. The softness of the op'ning year Renders, to youthful swains, more dear The ties that bind their hearts. And gentle maidens, doubtful still, More anxiously exert their skill In all their magic arts: They fasten seeds upon their eyes, Nam'd after lovers whom they prize, And watch the first that's loose. They snap the tender merry-thought, To see who soonest shall be caught In Hymen's silken noose. They swing the apple-peel around, And, from its figures on the ground, Spell out their destin'd mate. The inverted cup they twirl about, And, in the tea grounds, gather out The secrets of their fate. While all grows mild, above, below; And even fiercest storms that blow Their bitter rage arrest; While Love asserts his gentle reign O'er earth and skies, o'er hill and plain, In ev'ry living breast, Wilt thou, fair Eleanor, alone No tender impulse ever own, To change thy lover's doom? Let not the spring-time of thy year Continue cold, and waste and drear, When all around shall bloom. While frost-bound streams begin to melt, And genial influence is felt Throughout all Nature's reign, Ah! soften at thy Damon's woe, Nor let stern Winter's ice and snow About thy heart remain.
The top of the morn to ye! this blessed day, My sweet little Lydia dear. But I'll wish myself dead, and clean out of your way, If you turn to my words a deaf ear. For I tell you, d'ye see, I'm a tight Irish boy, Just come o'er from the green little isle, With a purse full of shiners; and heart full of joy At the hope of your favouring smile. And tho' Norah is surely the neatest young creature Ever was, or that ever can be, Yet I think, on my soul, that the blessing of Nature Has made you still neater than she. And although her bright image yet lives in my heart, A heart ever loyal and true, Och! that image was kill'd by young Cupid's last dart; And I live, my dear girl, but for you. It was first in Broadway that I met you a walking, With looks than May-flowers more sweet; And so pleasant and smoothly you seem'd to be talking, That my heart like a fulling-mill beat. I follow'd you up, and I follow'd you down, And I follow'd you everywhere; Till the back of your head seem'd beginning to frown, And the folk were beginning to stare. ISo I thought it was best to leave off galavanting, Till your name, and so forth, I could get. But, sure, thro' my brain how your image kept jaunting! And, oh dear! how it bothers me yet! And that same very night, what a tossing and turning! How the bed-clothes were kept in a rout! The curds in the churn, when my mother was churning, Were never so tumbled about. And of sleep de'il a wink, all the night, could I take, Of darts and of arrows for dreaming, That kept sticking all through me, and making me wake, Like a crazy man, screeching and screaming. And who among mortals is able to say How long I had gone at this rate? But I chanc'd to bethink me of Valentine's day; When the birds are beginning to mate, And the lads and the lasses have power to choose The sweethearts with whom they will pair; And no maiden has then a good right to refuse An offer that's open and fair. So, ukuthla ma cree, now without any bother, Hold ye fast a good chance when you can; And just run like a rabbit, and tell your good mother You're engag'd to a neat little man. And, that, you may know the goodman of your choice, Look out, when you're next in the street, For the heart-touching brogue of a rich Irish voice, As a bugle-horn mellow and sweet, And a lad with his hat plac'd a trifle askew, With a face that looks pleasant and bold, And a coat like the sky, all so shining and blue, And with buttons so yellow as gold; With a bright scarlet waistcoat; a bit of a staff; And with gloves that are whiter than snow; With his corduroys button'd around a full calf, And a well polish'd top-boot below. And I thought it was best, at the top of my letter, Just to give you a sketch of my phiz; Like a map on a deed, that assists one, the better To know what the property is. So, next time that you see me, just tip me a smile; And I'll give you a touch of my hat; And I vow, by the Shannon, that never shall guile Dishonor the heart of your own little Pat.
Fair maid, I'd quarrel with my Muse, Could she, when thou dost ask, refuse To sing that lovely mountain-girt retreat Where gen'rous youth to arms are train'd, And warlike Science is attain'd, And where high Art and wildest Nature meet. In Fancy's dream I love to stray Where, late, you sylph-like, led the way, With tread elastic as a mountain deer, Thro' winding path or rocky nook, While oft we paus'd, with eager look At distant prospect or at objects near. Hark! 'Tis the early cannon's sound Gives voice to ev'ry hill around, And warns th' encampment of the op'ning day. At this loud call, in haste I rise, Ere yet the sun lights up the skies, Or ling'ring vapours melt before his ray. The rock-built mountains I behold, Uprising, silent, grand, and bold, From out the glassy stream that noiseless glides, While not a zephyr o'er it breathes Or checks the mist that lightly wreathes Its scarf around the mountain's shaggy sides. The dusk of morn that shades each hill, The scene all solemn, grave and still, The aspect, phantom-like, that marks the whole, With dreamy thoughts o'ershade the mind And call up visions, undefin'd, And lift to awe-touch'd extasy the soul. But soon the sun, with golden beam, Awakes me from this morning dream, And bids me hasten to the stirring camp, Where troops in even ranks appear, And martial music fills the ear, And prancing steeds their foaming bridles champ. But I would warn each maiden fair, With timely caution, to beware, While she delighted views this brilliant show, Lest from some gallant gay cadet A heart-wound she unconscious get; The source whence many a bitter tear may flow. Thence as, in musing mood, I stray, And wear the vacant hours away, Mid Nature's wildness or fair works of Art, An object, sudden, meets my eye, Which fails not to enkindle high A flame within each patriot soldier's heart. It is the monumental stone With Kosciusko's name alone Within a simple wreath of laurel trac'd. A single word that utters more Than choicest lines of pompous lore, Or sculptur'd bust with high-wrought trophies grac'd. While yet the day affords me time, The neighboring heights I slowly climb, And gaze on all the varied scene below. I hear the martial band again Pour out its bold inspiring strain, While distance gives the tones a softer flow. The clouds that deck the welkin blue, And glow with ev'ry loveliest hue; The temperate air that gently breathes around; The full content of ev'ry sense; All give a feeling so intense, That still on earth some glimpse of Heav'n is found. Sweet maid, if e'er by any chance Thou weary of the rout and dance, Or aught, in Fashion's round, like surfeit find, Then hie thee to such scenes as these; For Nature's charms ne'er cease to please, And though they fill, can never cloy the mind.
Sweet maiden, could I on this page impress The charms of Nature that surround us here, How exquisite would be my vignette's dress! And in thy book how worthy to appear! The ripening harvests that adorn the vales; The swelling mountains that majestic rise; The forests whispering to the taintless gales; The distant heights that melt into the skies; The chestnut's bloom amid the vivid green; The wild-flowers that beneath our footsteps blow; The woodman's frequent hut at distance seen; The streams all murmuring music as they flow; The cloudless azure of the early morn; The glories of the sun's departing ray; Things that dare speak e'en to the heart-forlorn; And for a while, at least, its griefs allay. Were scenes like these with tasteful skill combin'd, All fresh with Nature's Heav'n-inspired look, What lovelier picture could an artist find Wherewith to grace the pages of thy book? And would I yet impart a finish'd grace, I should not seek for sylph or woodland elf Amid the beauties of the scene to place; But I would add - a picture of thyself.
Dear Kate, these bright but short-lived flowers, That deck the truths of Holy Writ, Remind me of those transient hours That seem'd with countless sreed to flit; Those hours we pass'd in converse sweet, Or rambling thro' the woodlands wild, Or climbing, with unwearied feet, O'er rocks romantic rudely piled, Or mounting light the lofty hills, To view the lovely prospect round, While falling streams or sparkling rills Sent forth their soft melodious sound. These joys, for me, no longer shine, - Yet, ere we bid farewell and part, A flow'ry wreath I would entwine Expressive of my inmost heart. I would select, as like to thee, And where thy charms peculiar meet, The blossoms of the fragrant pea, So pure, so delicate, so sweet. Abundant Heart's ease should be there, In token of thy future lot, And, to express my heartfelt prayer, Full many a fresh - Forget-me-not.
Thousand thanks, my sweet girl, for the kiss that you sent! And ten thousand times more for your heart's kind intent! But, ah me! like a blossom too tender to last, Ere it reach'd me, the freshness and fragrance were past. There are kisses, 'tis true, may be sent where you choose; But 'tis only because they've no sweetness to lose. There are fruits which endure the approach of decay; But the true zest of nature breathes fresh from the spray. There are flowers, deep-tinted and rich of perfume, That, when gather'd, awhile may continue to bloom; But the flowrets of morn, breathing soft thro' the dew, Lose their charms soon as pluck'd from the stem where they grew. There are wines of a spirit so rich and so sound, They improve to the taste as they go the world round; While the exquisite flavor of some is so faint That the vessel containing them oft gives a taint. Then, believe me, whenever your gifts you would send, Never trust them in charge of the faithfulest friend; For their worth can be told and their sweetness made known By no substitute's hand, by no lips but your own.
While lib'ral wealth, from door to door, Sends splendid gifts, and sheds its store In many a golden shower, A gentle maid presumes to send An humble off'ring to her friend; 'Tis but a modest flower. For, to the feeling tender heart, A trifle may more joy impart Than wealth could e'er bestow. No brightest gem, no gold refin'd, Is worth a gift that wakes the mind To friendship's fervid glow. Let then this short-lived Daphne share, My gentle friend, thy fost'ring care Till all its bloom be past. And, for the sake of her who gives, Still let it, when no more it lives, Within thy mem'ry last. But ere, like all, it close in death, When thou perceive its fragrant breath Steal softly on the air, Oh! think it wafted by thy friend, While striving thro' the sky to send, For thee her fervent prayer.
You ask me, gentle maiden, once again To tune my lyre, and wake its voice to song. Alas, it long neglected, mute, hath lain, Or only chid the breeze that swept along. For grief has thrown its chill around my heart, And quench'd for melody my fond desire: My trembling hand has lost its wonted art When I would wake the accents of my lyre. Yet, when thy artless graces I behold, Thine eyes that beam with innocence and truth, Thy blushes that no conscious wrong unfold, All radiant with the roseate light of youth, Harmonious feelings in my breast will rise; Within mine ear a distant music rings; Again my hand its new-felt vigor tries; Again it tunes and sweeps the once-lov'd strings. Thus, Memnon's statue, ancient records say, When night prevail'd, sent forth low sullen moans; But when it felt the rising solar ray, Was heard to murmur in melodious tones. But, o'er the chords my fingers wildly stray, Like one preluding to th' intended strain: I find no theme on which to form my lay; I call on ev'ry Muse, but call in vain. I cannot join the strains of noisy glee, The heartless wishes that salute the ear, The sounds of merriment and revelry That hail the birthday of another year. So many a sigh, so many a bitter moan Beneath these high-wrought notes of joy ascends, They seem like careless wild-flowers idly grown Upon the graves of our departed friends. And what are all the brightest joys we boat But fading flowers that for a moment bloom? And what this mighty globe, with all its host, But an insatiate all-devouring tomb? Fair maid, I've fall'n upon a theme that's fraught With gloom too sullen for youth's hopeful day: Yet will I venture still one serious thought, One heart-felt wish, ere I conclude my lay. Dark angry clouds that veil the azure skies Are like deep sorrows that the soul oppress. The golden vapors, melting as they rise, Assemble pleasures in their gaudy dress. Beyond the gilded mists that o'er us glance, And darkest clouds that on the mountains rest, Extends, thro' unknown space, the blue expanse With stars that shine like spirits of the blest. And let this glorious view exalt thy mind When sorrows press or dang'rous pleasures lure; Think them but passing clouds that leave behind The burning vault of Heav'n unchang'd and pure. And when, at last, thy worldly cares shall end, And then awaken from life's empty dream, May thy glad spirit to the skies ascend And, mid the lights of Heav'n, send forth its beam; And like the lovely star of evening shine, In modest glory clad, serene though bright; And, near th' eternal, bounteous Source divine, For ever and for ever dwell in light.
Old Chelsea once again looks gay With all the op'ning bloom of May. The leaves break forth, imprison'd long; And birds awake their morning song. Fresh flowers the chestnut branches crowd, And hold their heads all straight and proud. The purple lilacs and the white Unveil their beauties to the light; And humbler flowers of various hue New deck the green and sip the dew. The greenhouse plants begin to scold, And cry to John - "Why 'tis not cold; "This heat is more than we can bear; "We want to breathe the open air. "If you would have us fresh and stout, "Come quickly, John, and let us out." The bluebird spreads his glossy wing To greet the coming of the Spring. The catbird's and the robin's notes Come merry from their little throats. The yellow birds, in joyful play, Each other chase from spray to spray. The saucy wrens, too, twist and twirl, And mind me of my little girl. But, though abroad all shines so bright, The scene within is different quite. Aunt Terry, to drive out is crazy, And uncle Clem is Lawrence Lazy. The house is all too dull and quiet; I long to hear you romp and riot. Whene'er you're full of harmless fun, I dearly love to see you run. The pattering of your little feet Is music to my ear more sweet Than song of birds among the trees, Or distant strains that swell the breeze. And Heav'n, I trust, my prayer will hear, And give me back my Eliza dear, That I may press her to my heart Before we shall for ever part.
While at fair Margaret's placid brows And laughing eyes, intent, I gaz'd, And thought of all the sighs and vows By many a hapless votary rais'd, Within each orb I saw what seem'd A changeful mischief-loving sprite That, now, with gentle radiance learn'd, Now, darted keen electric light. May some adventurous noble youth, Whose soul would scorn at aught to cower, Whose heart's the home of love and truth, Encounter this electric power. But ye who feel no sacred fire Of pure love mantling thro' your veins, Dare not to this fair maid aspire, Nor hope to wind her in your chains. And ye who flit from belle to belle, All heedless of the course you run, Remember how rash Icarus fell, For venturing up too near the sun. Think of Prometheus' cruel fate, Who dared to seize the fire on high. Beware, beware, ere yet too late, To tempt the sprite in Margaret's eye.
A thousand thanks, my young and lovely friend, Thanks for thy breathing flowrets' mingled bloom, Whose tints in harmony blend, And seem to glory in their rich perfume. But from the breathings of thy gentle breast, Toward one whose span of life must soon be past, I draw a pleasure of still higher zest, Untainted pleasure that with life shall last. For all the fragrance of a short-lived flower Can but to outward sense a joy impart; While genuine friendship's breath hath e'en the power To teach an old and sorrow-stricken heart. Thou hast, in all the fervor of thy mind, Pour'd forth the hope, by mortals held most dear, That to this earth I still may be confin'd, Nor part from life for many and many a year. Happy young creature! whom the touch of wo Hath never taught to know this world aright; Around whose steps the flowers of pleasure blow; Whose paths are smooth and all whose skies are bright. Long coudless be the sunshine of thy skies! And long may gentle zephyrs round thee play! And should dark mists about thee e'er arise, May sunbeams cheer the ev'ning of thy day! For me, the shades of night are drawing near. Nor do I shun to muse upon that hour, But trust to meet the gloom, devoid of fear, Securely resting on Immortal Power. Yet, when my fading days grow chill and drear, And I am warn'd my spirit to resign, Still would I fain delay, could I still hear The tones of friendship breath'd from lips like thine.
'Twas an autumnal morn, celestial bright; The rising sun-beams on the water play'd; No mist or cloud bedimm'd the sacred light In which earth, sky and ocean were array'd. The rage of stormy winds and waves was hush'd; All Nature's fiercer passions lull'd in sleep. Th' untainted breath of Heaven lightly brush'd The proudly swelling bosom of the deep. The morning breeze invigorating blew, But with mild influence breathing soft and bland. Untir'd I stood, the curling waves to view, In measur'd cadence, breaking on the strand. A sense of Awe the lighter spirits bound. The sullen murmur of the ocean's voice That utter'd, grave and slow, an awful sound, As though 'twould say - Beware how you rejoice; The vast abyss, on which appear'd to lean The wide-spread margin of the vaulted sky; All gave a solemn grandeur to the scene, That fill'd the soul, and rous'd the thoughts on high. Unlike the joys to wealth supplied by art, That for a moment catch the outward sense, The charms of Nature sink into the heart, And waken raptures more and more intense. Ye who in throngs frequent this happy clime, To breathe its pure and health-bestowing air. To stay while the wasting hand of Time, And injur'd health and failing strength repair, Oh! seek not oft the dense and nightly crowd Where tainted air, and phantoms whirling round, And oft-repeated strains resounding loud, And glaring lights, the sight and brain confound. Hie to the beach or cliff at early prime, The hour when Nature sings her noblest strain, And taste of pleasures simple and sublime That give no sting, and leave behind no stain. And ye frail mortals, tottering, faint and weak, Who roam o'er sea and land, relief to find, In this soft clime a twofold blessing seek - Health to the body, vigor to the mind.
Soon as my Laura reach'd the realms above, Angels elect and spirits ever bless'd, The denizens of Heav'n, around her press'd All fill'd with wonder melting into love. "What light is this! what excellence unknown!" They exclaim'd, "Why have whole ages circled round, "And no such beauteous form been ever found "From earth ascending to the Eternal Throne?" She, well contented with her new estate, Finds none outshine the charms that round her play: And ever and anon she seems to wait And turn, to see if still on earth I stay. Hence, ev'ry thought to Heav'n I elevate, Because I hear her bid me haste away.
I sing the strife maintain'd, by minist'ring powers Of Heaven and hell, for an immortal soul. A dubious strife, alas! Since God permits The fiends of darkness here at large to roam Throughout this world, and fell dominion hold O'er souls inveigled by their hellish arts; While guardian angels, ling'ring still around, Feel sorrow such as sons of Heaven may know. And humbly of th' Eternal Throne I ask That with beseeming awe and boldness join'd I may address me to this lofty theme, This theme of deepest import to mankind; Lest with too-daring thought I should presume Where none but purest spirits of bliss may look; Or lest, through abject self-distrust, I fall Below the height to which my strain aspires. And for a mind I ask so purified From dregs of grov'ling passion and of price, That, when my song to angelic presence leads, I quail not, conscience-stricken and abash'd; And that unstain'd and scathless I may go Where spirits of darkness evil council hold. And thou, my Guardian Angel, deign to guide My wand'ring fancy by thy heav'nly power; And to its dreams such real semblance give As Truth herself and Reason may approve. Around Britannia's huge metropolis A dreary winter's night had thrown its gloom; When, in a lordly mansion, lights were seen To cast, at intervals, quick transient gleams Athwart the casements, as, with hurried step, Its inmates trod the galleries and halls. A chariot halted sudden at the door; And ere the vigorous rap could be renew'd, 'Twas open'd to the midnight visitant; Whom to receive, the mansion's lord advanc'd With pallid countenance and eager speech - "Doctor, how anxiously for you I've look'd! "Th' alarm will surely not again prove false" - "Courage! Sir Charles" - the obstetric page replied, "My Lady Ann, I trust, will prosper well. "I thought this howling wind would call me forth. "Methinks Lucina's jealous of our art, "And oft, in anger, calls up storm and rain." Straight, by a self-important fluent dame, He to the patient's room was introduc'd. She was a youthful wife who now first felt The pains and perils that her sex await. And she was gentle, beautiful and good; The very idol of her husband's soul; One form'd to prove, in hour of trial, the force Of woman's fortitude and woman's love. Vainly, the event in quiet to await, Sir Charles essay'd. He oft, with stealthy foot, Would to his suffering Anna's door approach To catch with eagerness the sounds within. While thus intent, a feeble cry arose That struck, at first, so strange upon his ear, He dream'd not what it was, nor whence it came. But when the conscious thought upon him flash'd, That 'twas the sound of his own offspring's voice, A rush of mingled feelings storm'd his breast, And bade him seek concealment, where to weep. But soon he issued forth, with eager wish More certain tidings of the event to learn. He met a joyful throng that round him press'd, Each striving, first to greet him with the news That Heaven had granted him a son and heir. Soon as a child into this world is born, What notes of gratulation are pour'd forth! What fond anticipations then arise Within the breasts of parents and of friends! They think not of the dangers that await Each moment of the infant's feeble life; Nor of the awful contest that attends The immortal embryo spirit of the babe; The dread alternative beyond this life - Eternal happiness or endless woe. Fast by the centre of this earthly sphere The arch-fiend Cosmocrator holds his state; Like to an ugly spider in his web, Watching for souls round which to wrap his toils; Encompass'd by unnumber'd ministring imps For ever tending on his foul behests; More dense than venom'd insects that arise, In summer heats, from putrid fen or pool, Or sparks that from a fire-spitting wheel, By pyrotechnic skill contriv'd, fly off. Their sight is keen, their movements all us free In solid matter as in empty space. The densest substance no more lets the act Of incorporeal natures, good or ill, Than ambient air impedes the visual ray, Or than the deepest dungeon walls restrain The expansive energy of mind and thought. To Satan, prince of all the infernal powers, Is Cosmocrator held amenable; And all the imps subjected to his will Are from the dread tartarean gulph supplied; There to return, when this globe is no more. To thwart the malice of these hell-train'd imps, Myriads of angels, in the courts of Heaven, Burning with love seraphic toward mankind, Behold the face of God, and wait his will. To render hopes and prayers abortive all, And lure the child to woe remediless, Despite the example of a virtuous sire And breathings of a pious mother's soul, An object to the ruthless field appear'd Well worth the stretch of all his hellish power. Ere yet the new-born babe had ceas'd its cry, The field despatch'd a keen malignant imp To enter, if by any art he might, Unseen by heav'nly powers, the infant's breast; There to lie hidden in some secret cell, And drop a venom in its sinless soul That, like an insect's sting in embryo fruit, Should there engender foul disease and death. Rapid as light shot from the blazing sun The spirit of evil darted on his way. Not like the solar beam, direct and bright, But dark and tortuous, and serpent-like. Soon as he issued from earth's surface forth He mingled with the circumambient air, And enter'd, as a breath of wind, the room Wherein the helpless new-born infant lay. Now, scarcely sever'd from its op'ning lip, And moving silent with the lightning's speed, The infernal spirit thought the prize his own, Proud to have thus o'erreach'd the spirits of Heaven. But light itself darts not with motion sure In which time enters not an element. The angel destin'd to watch o'er the child, Expectant station'd in the Heav'n of Heavens, At signal given, with speed by th' Almighty lent, Was on the imp ere he had reach'd his aim. To central earth again he drove him down Ere he his proper form could reassume. Amid his fellows, like a blast, he rush'd, With hissing diabolic laugh receiv'd. When the returning angel pass'd unseen And noiseless through the apartment of his ward, A heavenly influence his presence shed; A holy joy pervaded all within. Th' infernal spirit mark'd this sacred calm, Encompass'd though he was by sounds demoniac, And felt his love of ill more turbulent, And more intense his hatred of all good, More fix'd his purpose to entrap the soul For which he thus was beaten down and scorn'd. The unhallow'd mirth of Cosmocrator's crew Brought to their sense of woe no kind relief; But stirr'd to fiercer rage the inward fire That ceaseless, unextinguish'd, ever preys Upon their essence ne'er to be consum'd. Oh, how unlike the ecstasy divine, The joys ineffable, of spirits bless'd, Whene'er excitement, such as angels know, Breaks in upon the calm of heavenly bliss! Incense that in its censer softly burns, When swung aloft, emits more fragrant breath; And beds of roses, stirr'd by Zephyr's wing, Exhale a richer sweetness on the air. "Silence"! cried Cosmocrator, with a voice Whose terror quell'd at once the hideous din That seem'd a human laugh commingled strange With hiss of serpents, chattering of the ape, The howl of wolves, and cry of beastly swine, The raven's croak, and owl's ill-omen'd screech. And then, in mild and gentle tones, he sooth'd The burning shame that stung the imp disgrac'd: For none can breathe more soft and honeyed notes Than spirits of hell, their purpose when it serves. "I blame thee not, since all that could be done "'Gainst arm omnipotent, thou has perform'd: "For 'twas not by his own unaided might "The imp of heav'n prevail'd and beat thee down; "But by his Master's omnipresent speed "And power resistless, for the moment lent. "'Tis with the servants of the Great Supreme, "Not with himself, that we may dare contend. "Nor, while a dormant soul in embryo lies "Unconscious and inert, much hope have we "Its heav'n-appointed guard to circumvent, "And taint it with the poison of our breath. "Its earthly guardians must we first attempt, "And lure them on to aid in what we do. "The tender network of an infant mind, "When conscience first awakens in the breast, "May by a seeming trifle be derang'd "Beyond the hope of perfect remedy. "An artful menial or companion lewd "May, in a moment, map or strain some cord, "Or mar the texture of the fine-wrought web, "And make it but a worthless cast-off thing. "But, say this new-born infant shall arrive "At youth's estate with pure unblemish'd mind; "Let but the innate passions of his breast "Begin their wonted empire to assert; "These, as experience tells, shall prove a host "To aid us in our war with heav'nly powers; "A host so fierce, so numerous and strong, "That theirs will be the burden of the fight. "Then suffer not thy courage to abate, "Nor well-tried vigilance in aught to fail; "For, of the thousand times ten thousand souls "Round which we never cease to spread our toils, "On this, above the rest, I would pour out "The hatred that I feel for all that's good. "And though crest-fallen now, still wait thy chance, "Ere long, to triumph o'er thy exulting foe: "For, at the christ'ning of the mewling babe, "A pompous host will to the temple throng, "And thence assemble in their lordly halls, "To end the day in feast and dance and sport. "While all intent upon the mystic rite, "The powers celestial may relax their guard; "And, ere they rally, thou may'st quickly dart "Or softly glide into the infant's breast. "Meanwhile, like ambient air that ever seeks "Within a space that's void its way to force, "Or, like the viewless motes impalpable "That penetrates minutest aperture, "Nor fail, in time, to clog the finest works of art; "Thus, round this infant, ever on the watch, "Must we its op'ning spirit strive to blast." While thus the wicked fiend, with accent's bland, To keener malice stirr'd his willing imps, The blessed spirit of light held on his way, With devious motion, toward the realms of bliss. On duty still, e'en while at large he roam'd, He wander'd, not forgetful of his charge; "For well he knew that, should the daemon move, A sign would be imparted by the Eternal King; From whose clear view, throughout the universe, There's not the smallest atom that lies hid. Among the stars he circling swept along; Rejoicing to behold the Almighty's works. And, as he wheel'd among revolving worlds, In various guise he travers'd the expanse. Now, like a transient meteor he appear'd; Now, like a vapour melting into air. At times, within the bosom of a cloud, He knew some unknown globe would stay his flight, And seem a glorious rainbow shining forth. Then, like the noiseless distant lightning's flash, Would toward some brilliant star pursue his way, And to its gazing habitants appear A bird of unknown sing, and plumage dipt In all the colours of the aerial bow. At times, invisible he would become, Save to the Infinite's all-seeing eye; And, as more near he scann'd the rolling orbs, Rush'd like the wind, or like a zephyr breath'd. Then, as he pass'd in view of some fair world That had not fallen from its first estate, Resum'd his proper form of heavenly mould, And wav'd angelic greeting to its denizens, Who, with loud shouts of joy, his presence hail'd, And watch'd, with eager gaze, his heavenward flight. Thus he, in feast-time such as angels take And Heaven's Almighty King complacent views, Approach'd the mansions of eternal bliss; Whose inmates, as he enter'd, clust'ring round, With sounds harmonious welcom'd his return, And looks all beaming bright with joy and love. Ye ceaseless wand'rers over sea and land, Whom paradise itself could not retain; Aye on the stretch for somewhat to relieve The endless cravings of a restless mind! This were a voyage well worth the toil and time Ye now so freely lavish in the search Of somewhat distant, somewhat hard to reach, Where dangers must be met and pains endur'd, And all for pleasure that still mocks the search, Till peace and quiet seem your direct foes - Nor count it idle Fancy's wand'ring dream Which gives to christian faith the heav'nly hope That, when the cumbrous load we now drag on Shall to a spiritual substance change, Ransom'd from death to Heav'n's beatitude, We may among the stars unfetter'd roam, Exulting still, with wonder ever new And clear unaided vision, to behold The glories of the great Creator's works, Of which but transient glimpses here we gain; Eager, through optic tube, to catch a gleam Of unknown wonders in the vault of Heav'n; While th' intellect grows dizzy as we look, Lost in eternity and boundless space. While thus contended spirits of Heav'n and hell For weal or woe to an immortal soul, The earthly guardians of the helpless babe Watch'd fondly o'er its opening germ of life. New feelings sway'd the happy father's breast While, for a moment, he had leave to gaze Upon his new-born babe, and light press, With quivering lip, his Anna's pallid cheek; Within whose chamber none might dare presume But by permission of th' attendant dame, Who, self-important from her twofold trust, Guarded the lovely mother and her babe. When in his downy mantle gentle sleep Had wrapp'd the pain-worn mother and her child, And he of art obstetrick had again Gone forth to brave the raging of the storm, Around a cheerful blaze a smiling group, Ere they to rest retir'd, together met To ponder, for a while, the glad event, And gaily quaff the health of sire and son. Among the hospitable mansion's guests Appear'd the widow'd mother of Sir Charles. His much lov'd sister Julia too was there. The stamp of grief her noble features wore; For she bereavement's keenest pangs had known. Yet was there naught of sullen discontent To cloud her pallid cheek and brow serene; For, e'en when gushing tears betray'd her woe, A placid smile would from her features beam, Like sunshine breaking through a gentle rain. Much lively converse pass'd among the group, With ever and anon a perious thought. Sir Charles complacent heard the pleasantry His new parental dignity call'd forth. But his fond parent lov'd not to be told, Though but in jest, that she would spoil the child; And seem'd to ask, while glancing at her son, If aught in him her doting folly prov'd. Young George Cadwallader was there a guest, An orphan ward and nephew of Sir Charles, Whose anxious care he promis'd to repay By worthless principles and conduct loose. An inmate still of classic halls, he grasp'd At shadowy subtleties and vain conceits; True learning and religion cast aside. Fit instrument, in Cosmocrator's hand, To work confusion in an opening mind. He now, in philosophic guise, breath'd forth The venom of a wily infidel. A human being's entrance into life, The pretext offer'd to discourse at large Of vital principle - when it unfolds? - And whether it from matter be distinct, Or only a material substance more refin'd? - At thought of immortality he jeer'd, And future life, poetic fancy call'd. To think this frame corporeal, once dissolv'd, Can e'er revive, he nam'd a maniac's dream. Thus, with o'erweening and inflated air, Display'd the wisdom of a beardless sage; Unheeding the chill silence that prevail'd, And taking silent scorn for awe profound; Until an unexpected check he met, In full career, from honest Frank Adrain, A country gentleman of strong rough mind, Sir Charles's elder relative and friend, Of generous heart and true, though ever blunt; A frequent welcome inmate of the house. "Enough, young gentleman, we've had, methinks, "Of high-blown metaphysic stuff," said he; "And I can tell thee of an ancient book, "By wisest men believ'd and reverenc'd, "But which to thee, I fear, is clos'd and seal'd, "That calls a man who talks like thee - a fool." Against Cadwallader this mov'd a laugh, The argument, of all, most powerful To quell an overweening disputant. 'Tis like a blow which, though it shed no blood, Supplants and prostrates its antagonist. The young philosopher, in sullen mood, Soon from the circle stealthily withdrew. The sister of Sir Charles in silence mus'd, Nor gave apparent heed to aught around; For in her mind were waken'd busy thoughts That to her mem'ry pictur'd past events. "And why is this, my Julia?" said Sir Charles, "Thy heart seems not to mingle in our joy; "Yet thou art wont to make but one with me "In all my happiness and all my pain." - "Oh! Charles, I know not whether to rejoice "Or weep, to have another earthly tie. "So many bonds of love that held my heart "Have by the cruel hand of death been rent, "That aught upon this earth I fear to love" - "Nay sister! Speak not thus, nor quench Heav'n's fire; "For love's the light of our immortal soul. "Pure taintless love, such as thine ever is, "Gives to the spirit a buoyancy toward Heaven, "To find an atmosphere where it can breathe, "Mid God's elect, from earth's oppression free." Around her brother's neck her arm she threw With deep emotion, though no word she spoke. Upon his cheek she press'd a silent kiss, And glided softly from th' assembled group. Soon, to their night's repose they all withdrew, While gentle sadness shaded ev'ry brow. In early Summer, on a sun-bright morn, Cadwallader, in traveller's garb, approach'd Sir Charles's mansion, and quick entrance found. His toilet finished, to the breakfast hall He straight repair'd. The sister of Sir Charles, That morn risen earlier than her wont, Was there; who, with astonish'd look, exclaim'd "Why George! how's this? I thought, at Cambridge still "'Twas term time, and imagin'd you were all "Worming the substance out of pond'rous tomes" - "True," he replied, "I should be cloister'd still; "But as I chanc'd to learn that young Sir Charles, "This day, a holy sprinkling shall receive; "And willing to afford my mite of prayer, "I, for a day or two, have truant play'd; "But soon, on my return, will make my peace" - "Fie, George! speak not with mockery of prayer; "Nor treat things sacred with unholy mirth. "Thy prayers, I fear, go not beyond the wish "For feast and dance and song and revelry. "But fancy not, this day's religious rite "A festival for Pleasure's idle crew. "Sir Charles would deem wild gaiety unmeet "To mark the entrance on the christian state. "And let not want of reverence appear "In word or look, I do beseech thee, George; "For, through all kindness, this unruly prank "Will fill thy guardian's mind with painful thoughts. "And, to unwonted harshness nought so apt "To rouse the even tenor of his mind "As youthful arrogance that dares pronounce "On themes that pass an angel's intellect." Anger and disappointment cloth'd his brow; Nor could he from uncourteous terms refrain. "Thus, for a feast" - said he - "I may expect "A cup of caudle and a bit of cake. "The dancing we shall have, will be, to view "The infant dandled in its mother's arms; "And all the music that we may enjoy, "The young one's screams and nurse's lullaby. "At once, I pray thee, let me break my fast; "And, ere the family descend, I'm off" - She strove not to retain th' ungracious youth; But order'd his repast, nor answer made. She felt as though a scoffing infidel Might bring disturbance to a christian rite. She fear'd that courtesy would not restrain Some outbreak of his vanity and scorn. Sore piqued that Julia urg'd him not to stay, In sullen mood, he took a hasty meal; While, in revenge, he press'd her with a theme He knew she ever heard, from him, with pain. "Of late, good aunt, I have perplexed my brain "To solve that mystery of mysteries, "The root original whence evil sprang "To taint this universe so seeming good. "Methinks thy bible should resolve this doubt. "Canst thou not lighten my benighted mind? - "I cannot, George; nor can I answer right "The child's interrogation oft renew'd, "Why God permits the evil one to live? "Nor know I why the powers of hell may still "Roam free among the wretched sons of men; "Nor why an imp of darkness has replac'd "The absent minister of health that seem'd "To hover round thee while they parents liv'd. "How would they mourn to see thee thus deform'd!" He answered not, but gloomily retired. Few moments had gone by ere he return'd Dangling, with careless air, his light valise. A cold adieu he bade, and disappear'd. This show of reckless boldness toward his aunt. Was not the true complexion of his mind. 'Twas but a feigned semblance just put on; A colour destin'd to be soon effac'd. He, in her presence, felt a secret dread Confess'd not by his proud o'erweening heart. Her intellectual view was keen and deep, Without pretence to learning's studied phrase. In every aspect of her meaning face, In every utterance of her liquid voice, Truth's holy character was seen and felt; Celestial Truth that shunn'd not God or man. A shade unearthly clad her pallid cheek, And struck beholders with a sense of awe. Her steady gaze could pierce the inmost soul. 'Twas not the solar beam nor lightning's flash That from her glance came radiant on the sight; Yet, none alive to feeling could withstand The deep expression of her tranquil eye. To Cosmocrator, in his murky den, All that here pass'd was open as the day; For, by his devilish power, he could command The secret energies that rule this world; And, from the unfathom'd deep, could plainly see The smallest mote that in the sunbeam plays, Or hear the softest sound that stirs the air. When he beheld Cadwallader depart, He to a host select of firey imps, That round this globe perform his foul behests, The signal gave his presence to attend. A sound he sent, too deep for mortal ears, That from earth's centre reach'd the vault of heaven. Swifter than hail descending from the sky, Or ocean rend by winds tempestuous driven, Down to their chief they all impetuous rush'd, And eagerly around him press'd, more dense Than clustering bees that round their leader swarm, Or autumn fogs that cloud the rising sun. "This legion of the burning asp", cried he, "Are for a special duty now call'd in. "This day will be perform'd the wonted rite "Upon the infant for whose soul I strive; "By which they hope to shield him from my power. "How doubly glorious will our triumph be "If, while those bubblers 'gainst us prate and pray "And pour upon us foul despight and scorn, "We graft a devil on that tender plant, "With it to grow and be with it but one, "And make it yield, in time, the fruits of hell, "Till, like unto a worthless canker'd branch, "It be pluck'd off and cast into the flame. "And if those fluttering imps of heaven but once "Keep guard so loosely as to let us in, "'Twould prove, if well I ween, beyond their power, "The child unhurt, to drive us from our hold. "Within some temple while the white-rob'd priest "Is sprinkling water o'er the infant's front, "A numerous host of our celestial foes, "Inflam'd with burning hate, will cluster round, "To guard the young one from our dangerous wiles. "'Tis these my purpose to send in a cloud "Of spirits keener than the lightning's flash, "Who shall their movements so perplex and thwart, "That some swift-winged asp may entrance find "Into the dwelling of the soul we seek, "And there abide and do its work of woe. "So well, methought, I had a plan arrang'd, "That need there would be none for this parade. "I did impart to young Cadwallader, "In whom a minister of mine e'er dwells, "A hint of what, this day, was to be done; "Which stirr'd within him such intense desire "Th' expected feast and frolic to partake, "That from his college studies he broke loose "And at his guardian's house this morn arriv'd. "It was my hope and expectation firm "That when, like other guests, the child he kiss'd, "My watchful daemon through its lips should glide, "Unnotic'd by the guardian spirits round. "But all my scheme, so hopefully arrang'd, "Is ruin'd by that sister of Sir Charles; "Yes, by that staring widow, whom I hate "With hatred fann'd by hottest flames of hell. "No! not a dozen priests together join'd, "With all their exhortations and their prayers, "Could cross my purposes and cramp my power "Like that one woman, when she fronts my will. "Nor should I marvel, spite of all my pains, "If e'en Cadwallader she won away. "Be ready now, at signal given, to rush "Within the temple walls amid the throng. "And let no novice deem the hazard great "To tempt the precincts of the sacred fane: "For oft have I, among the worshippers, "Or those who such appear'd, gone freely round; "And, insect-like, tormented e'en the priest, "Till he was angry and forgot his theme. "If in our first attack we chance to fail, "Let young Beelzebub, or else who will, "Still hover stealthily around the child, "Until the night-watch of the heavenly guard "Be set, to shield it from our dark attempts. "Some lucky moment may, perchance, occur "To aid the enterprize we have in hand. "But give good heed to what I say, young imps; "Whate'er ye do, be ever on your guard "To avoid that pale-fac'd widow's goblin stare. "If she but meet you with her eye direct, "Her look will scare you to the lowest hell." He ended; and infernal merriment, With mingled zeal, pervaded all the host; While eagerly their ruthless chief they watch'd, Expectant of the signal to depart. At length, the daemon cried aloud, "Be gone, "And follow where that night-bird leads the way." At once, an imp, by Cosmocrator taught, Forth darted, like a bat, on flickering wing, And, from his fellow imps distinct, led on To where the solemn rite was just begun. They found, as was predicted by their chief, A band of guardian angels hov'ring round; But not with hate inflam'd, as he malign'd; The wretch! he knew not what it was to love. No fierce emotion, like to hate, they knew, But pure seraphic love for all that's good, And heav'nly pity for the awful state Of spirits immortal doom'd to endless woe. A sight it was, so heavenly, so pure, The daemons, conscience-smitten, shrunk for dread. Quicker than lightest chaff that feels the fire, Their proper shapes of hell were lost and gone. Of smallest insects some the form assum'd. Motes, in the sunbeam playing, others seem'd. Some melted into air, and vainly hoped Among th' angelic guard to pass unseen. But ev'ry insect, mote, and breath of air, Was by the spirits of heav'n intensely watch'd; And ev'ry stealthy movement of the foe To approach the object of their foul attempts Was by the guardian host so promptly met, That, foil'd and crest-fall'n, they at length gave o'er, And to their chief, with shame and rage, return'd: All but that imp, the young Beelzebub, Whom in his first attempt, we saw disgrac'd. He linger'd still around, in various guise, Expectant that, amid the giddy rout Which, he suppos'd, would hold the day and night, Some fitting instrument he might select To aid th' accursed work he had in view. But different far the entertainment prov'd From what was look'd for by the wily imp. Around the social board few friends select Together met to celebrate the day In which young Charles receiv'd the Christian sign. There was the rev'rend Osborne, he who had The holy sacramental rite perform'd; The sponsor too, our noble Frank Adrain, Who, with Sir Charles, had answer'd for the babe; The Lady Ann's young sister, Alice May, Whose op'ning beauty shone forth, like the star Of early dawn, with radiance gently bright; Gay Emma Constantine, her bosom friend; Young Henry Morton, struck with Emma's charms; Will Emory, of spirit free as air, Whose heart no shaft of love had ever pierc'd. These, with the happy parent, of Sir Charles, And Julia, with her melancholy smile, In well assorted contrasts graced the board. The Lady Anna's mother was no more; Her father roaming in a distant land. Some natural awe came o'er the younger guests To meet a learned Oxford-taught divine. But soon their dread was for delight exchang'd. THere was a buoyant spirit in his words, An unpretending candour in his look, That fail'd not to win confidence and love. Much, too, the converse of the young he priz'd, When modest sense and artlessness appear'd. Lively and livelier grew the din of tongues As choicest wines and viands warm'd the guests. And when the health of young Sir Charles they drank, Full cheerily the glasses sparkled round; And eyes too sparkled brighter yet than they With light of harmless pleasantry and wit. How quickly would this merriment have ceas'd, And fright have chill'd the warm blood coursing free, Had to their view been suddenly reveal'd The hell-engender'd harpy flitting round, Like to a web-wing'd bat, in sultry climes, That darts its noiseless flight round lighted hall And sheds a horror o'er th' assembled throng. For never had the soul-ensnaring imp A moment ceas'd, o'er all, thief-like, to watch; Much wond'ring that no heav'nly guards appear'd Since from the temple he had fled away. Those guards, to give the daemon freer scope, And prove the strength of those he might attempt, Invisible were order'd to remain. The special guardian of the infant child Before the face of God his station held. At length, the imp within himself thus mus'd - "'Tis strange, keen sighted devil as I am, "That not a glimpse have I as yet obtain'd "Of those white ghosts, call'd ministers of heav'n, "Who so affright us when we chance to meet. "They think, perhaps, this morning's mystic rite, "From which my fellows shrunk so horror-struck, "A charm to quell our efforts for the day. "If so, I hope, by my unaided strength, "Their overweening confidence to shame. "Some, surely, of these merry-making guests "Will kiss the sleeping babe ere they depart. "Through them I may gain entrance to the child "Whom openly I dare not to assault, "Lest I again should meet with foul disgrace. "Twere vain to try the honest-hearted priest. "Were he a selfcomplacent sleek-hair'd saint "Who makes a sin of all that's said or done, "And from a hundred of his fellow men "Will pick you out some three or four escap'd, "And smiling greet the rest - 'dear brethren damn'd'; "Were he like this, some opening might I find "Through which to creep within his secret soul. "Those girls, I knew, will kiss the infant's lips. "That laughing Will, for short, may do the same; "But, should I make my way within his breast, "His hearty laugh would shake me out again. "Those two, styled angels, will I keep in view; "'Twere droll indeed, should they my purpose serve" - The banquet o'er, when in the bright saloons All met for converse and sweet music's voice, On wing so rapid and so noiseless flew The time, that when the hour of parting came, All had miscounted, and would scarce believe The midnight chime was warning them away. Mysterious it appear'd to youthful minds That time in tranquil atmosphere could fly. They had not in gay fashion's round been taught That no enjoyment so can hold the mind, Or leave an impress of so pure delight, As friendly converse with the wise and good. All were prepar'd, at length, to bid good night, But sprightly Emma, who would kiss the babe Ere she departed, and upon it gaze With fondness such as only woman knows. Young Morton's flame the daemon well had mark'd, And watch'd the movements of gay Emma's mind. Such pride and love of conquest there he found, Those passions that with mischief fill the world, That to her bosom he quick entrance gain'd; And, as she approach'd the infant's half-closed mouth, The lurking imp was ready to dart in. But such sweet breath of innocence came forth, Disparting gently its red rosebud lips; So free from ev'ry earthly taint it seem'd; So like a creature moulded in the heavens, And dipt in rosy tints of early dawn, The daemon thought a spirit of heaven was there; And, conscience-stricken, shrank away for fear. Quick from the soul of Emma rush'd he forth, To wander in the regions of the air, Till he again his chief should dare to meet. Sweet infant innocence! Oh, why so soon Must we from thee depart? So soon be chang'd? Angelic innocence! whose very look Can fright a lurking devil from the soul? Amid the shades of Eton a fair boy Was slowly straying, pensive and alone. Of other boys he shunn'd the open gaze; For tears had left their trace upon his cheek; And much he dreaded to be scorn'd and mock'd For unbeseeming want of manliness. But they were warm and natural tears, that flow'd From deep emotions of a generous heart. This was Charles Elphinstone, whom nine swift years Had chang'd from infancy to boyhood's prime. He from the shelter of his father's roof Had newly enter'd on an untried world. The thought of his departed mother weigh'd Upon his soul, sweet spotless Lady Ann, But lately snatch'd away, in prime of life, With ev'ry virtue, ev'ry grace, adorn'd. Beside this son, one little girl she left, Twice twelve months younger than her brother Charles; His dear companion, whom he now exchang'd For faces strange and manners wild and rude. Much had Sir Charles's spirit been perplex'd, Much council with his Julia had he held, Whether at home to have his boy uprear'd, Or in the turmoil of a public school. He dreaded ill example's pow'r to lure Unwary youth from virtue's narrow path; The rude encounters too and buffetings Which, while they embolden, brutalize the heart; The servitude by youthful fags endur'd Beneath the tyrant sway of elder boys. The harshness too of discipline, he thought Might crush the op'ning spirit of his boy. Julia, reluctant, thus her mind disclosed - "'Twould savour of presumption, Charles, in me, "On such a theme, to tender thee advice; "But since it is thy will to have me speak, "I will not hide the promptings of my mind. "Where can we find upon this earth a spot "That's free from danger and distress, and where "Unnumber'd lures to evil are not known? "The phantoms rais'd by sin, alike assail "The home-taught student and the schoolboy wild; "The abode of peace and battle-breathing camp; "The squallid hovel and the brilliant court; "The strictest cloister and the busiest world. "Most hideous forms of evil may be found "In souls retir'd that stagnate in repose. "The stir of active life is to the mind "Like winds that chase the sluggish fogs away. "And well art thou aware that, mid the strife "And noise and rudeness of a schoolboy throng, "There lurks a fire electric that will strike "At falsehood, cowardice, or sneaking vice; "A generous spirit that revolts at wrong; "A mind that nobly yields to what is just. "And this alone should tranquilize thy heart; "That in these schools of learning have been rear'd "A shining host of Britain's noble sons, "Their country's pride, and glory of mankind." At length, to Eton's classic atmosphere Sir Charles determined to commit his son. Nor did the gen'rous boy, by word or look, The deep reluctance of his heart betray. He dreaded to augment the pangs he knew Were struggling in his widow'd father's breast. But when the dreaded hour of parting came, That left him lonely in an unknown throng, Bereft of her who with angelic love And angel sanctity had o'er him watch'd, Sunder'd from all whom still on earth he lov'd, And cast into a wild and thoughtless throng, Poor boy! no wonder that his heart was wrung, And that affection's tear bedew'd his cheek! In vain a countless swarm of flick'ring imps Had round him kept their unremitting watch, In hope to find an entrance to his soul, And blight it with a taint incurable. A guardian spirit's never slumbering eye, A holy mother's precepts and her prayers, The tear repentant that ne'er fail'd to flow When conscious error smote his gen'rous heart; These kept him harmless from the deadly sting That works destruction to the spirit's health. But now the fiend a new attack prepar'd; And thought, by means circuitous and slow, To warp the op'ning soul, and, as it grew, To harden it in crooked forms of vice. For this foul end, he purpos'd to employ The lively talents of Cadwallader, Whose thoughts and words all breath'd of vanity, And all whose pleasures center'd in himself. Fit tool for spirit of evil to employ; Apt servant to obey his ev'ry will. Now, by the devil prompted, George began A sprightly correspondence with the boy; Through which, in flippant phrase, he interwove Such thoughts as float upon a reckless mind. Seductive vice he deck'd in gay attire, And sober virtue dress'd in garb ridiculous. All this too, with no preconceived spite Against the boy he aided to corrupt; On whom he would but practice what he deem'd His native gift of pleasantry and wit. 'Twas vanity unprincipled, and mov'd By daemon pow'r, that rul'd his ev'ry thought Oft was the unsuspecting child amus'd By humorous sallies and vivacious phrase. Yet frequent also were the startling words That caus'd a flutter in his guileless heart. But evil, in the guise of merriment, Began, at length, to influence his mind. Indecorous drollery and jest profane Became more frequent, and were dreaded less. The sage monitions of his father's love Were read with less devotion of the heart. And e'en the gentle flow of Julia's pen Appear'd too tame for his perverted taste. Close to his heart the guardian spirit press'd, And stamp'd his mother's image deeper there. And when the year revolving brought around The day deep-darken'd by his mother's death, The angel prompted him to give his friend The simple hist'ry of that solemn day. To name his mother he had felt a dread: But now, receiving courage, thus he wrote, - "Dear George, this day, twelve months are gone since that "On which my mother died. I ne'er have dared "To tell you what, that day, I saw and heard. "Your thoughts and words, so full of joy and mirth, "Have made me fear to tell you aught that's sad. "But now, I know not why, more bold I feel, "And will pour out the sorrows of my heart - "Not, for a week, had I my mother seen. "She was, they said, too ill to be disturb'd. "At length, my father, while his tears ran down, "Took me and sister Anna by the hand, "And led us to the chamber where she lay. 'Your dying mother asks to see you both', "He said, 'and bid farewell before she goes'. "How pale and shrunk she was! How weak her voice! "She prayed that God would send his blessing down "Upon us both. For you too, George, she prayed; "And said she always lov'd you, though dislike "Toward her seem'd ever brooding in your heart. "She feebly press'd my hand within her own, "And bade me kiss her - Oh! her lips were cold "As stone; her face and forehead cold and damp. "So loud I wept, they snatch'd me from her side - "I saw her not again. Farewell, dear George. "Indeed, indeed, I cannot now write more". When from the halls of science George had pass'd, With academic honors duly grac'd, And from his faithful guardian's hand receiv'd The inheritance committed to its care, He sought new friends, if such they might be call'd, And from his kind protectors kept aloof. For the indwelling devil tore his breast When he encounter'd Julia's piercing glance, Or Lady Anna's soft inquiring eye, Or met the cutting banter of Sir Charles. His conscience-smitten bosom wish'd to think These friends his secret foes; and Lady Ann Above the rest; for she with mute contempt Had ever seem'd to hear his jests profane. Her death had cost him not one sigh or tear, For pride revengeful rankled in his breast. But her affection, breath'd from dying lips, Gave him a conscious sting that pierc'd his heart. There is hypocrisy that takes the cloak Of wickedness that dwells not in the soul. 'Tis mov'd by pride, or vanity, or dread Of being counted cowardly and weak. This is a guise may e'en the devil cheat: And such was by Cadwallader assum'd. He, with a smile contemptuous, cast aside The letter of young Charles, and humm'd a tune. But from that child his spirit had receiv'd A virtuous shock - He never wrote again; But, sudden feign'd a wish for change of scene; And bent to foreign climes his hasty steps. A fiery curse from Cosmocrator broke, When thus the plan was foil'd by which he thought To plant the seeds of poison in the boy. A curse of deeper tone would he have pour'd Upon the head of George, had he descried The secret workings that disturb'd his soul. For as, amid licentious revellers, If, by some chance, a virtuous man appear, His presence troubles their unholy mirth And brings a chill upon their reckless glee, Thus, the strange feeling in the breast of George Disturb'd the wonted thoughts that in him dwelt. But e'en the eye of his keen-sighted imp Saw not the real secret of his breast: For straight he plung'd amid the motley throng Of reckless headlong votaries of vice, And trod the treach'rous death-exhaling soil On which the flowers of vice-grown pleasure bloom. The archfiend's fury was by that allay'd; He thought to grasp him with a firmer hold, And wield a deadlier instrument of ill. And 'twas the purpose of the ruthless fiend, While he employ'd him to corrupt the boy, From depth to depth of sin to sink him down, Till he should plunge into the depth of hell. Unhappy youth! too vain and weak to bend Beneath the impulse of a virtuous pang; We leave him struggling to o'erwhelm and drown, By deadly draughts of pleasure, so miscall'd, The better feeling awaken'd in his breast; Led on by power satanic down the path That ends in dreary ruin and despair. From slight distortion, Charles's buoyant mind, When warp'd no longer by the power of George, Sprang to its wonted rectitude again. Again the wisdom of his father's words And soft outpourings of his Julia's love Came with the pleasure they were wont to give, And cool'd the fever that had touch'd his brain. The boy possess'd a lofty generous soul, With quick and comprehensive intellect. But ardent vehemence of purpose, caus'd Both hope and dread for his integrity: Hope, that his ardor would be zeal for good; And dread, lest it should turn to stubborn vice. Full well the skilful tempter knew how hard For strong impetuous nature to resist The sense's impulse and wild fancy's lure. And with these aids he trusted to effect The work of ruin which he had in hand. But not the power of satan could erase The stamp of Ann's precepts from her son. She had imbued him with a love of truth, A virgin first love, never to be quell'd. When prompted by the heat of youthful blood, Or by the force of ill example lured To rush, unthinking, into schoolboy pranks, No dread of punishment could ever move His lofty spirit to seek falsehood's aid. But though his own delinquency he scorn'd To hide beneath the cover of a lie, For threats nor promise would he disclose Who were his wild participants in fault. When question'd close, he firmly would declare No violence should force him to betray Confed'rate spirits trusting to his faith. This may be nam'd by scourging casuists Rebellion, contumacy, what they please; But never was his guardian angel mov'd By conduct such as this, his charge to quit. Prompt to avow what conscience said was wrong; Anxious to heal the harm to others done; His wildest freaks of mischief ne'er betray'd A thought malignant or a purpose base. This atmosphere of truth, a barrier form'd Which powers of darkness dreaded to approach, Save when within him evil passions rose And gather'd clouds o'er virtue's sky serene. Then would a swarm of imps, impetuous, rush, In hope to gain possession of his soul. But near approach discover'd to their view, Beneath the lowering clouds and driving storms, Truth's calm horizon and the heav'nly guard, Like Hesperus, glowing with celestial light, In token that the storm would soon be o'er. This sight th' infernal swarm could ne'er abide; But shrank, like midnight thieves who unawares Find sudden light break on their stealthy steps, And watchful guardians set to oppose their way. Thus, through his schoolboy course he pass'd along; Ne'er sundered from his guardian Power so far That hostile spirits, ever on the watch, Could make a lasting lodgment in his soul. The time had now arriv'd for him to tread In higher learning's more extended paths. He left the halls of Eton, lov'd by all, With ev'ry prize and highest honour crown'd. The boyhood, now, of Charles had pass'd away; Another era in his life began. Fam'd Oxford's venerable courts he trod, With step more grave and air more dignified; With form enlarg'd and comely presence grac'd; With early manhood's symptom's gently touch'd. But, as the gifts of mind and body grew, The dangerous passions also gather'd strength. Amid the buffetings of schoolboy life, The claims of birth and fortune were forgot. But when the thoughts of wealth and rank were free To claim their untried influence on his mind, When e'en the dress by college rules prescrib'd Proclaim'd a noble current in his veins, How faint the hope that he could stand unmov'd Against th' assaults of vanity and pride! No effort, now, was by the daemon spar'd To keep alive within the mind of Charles Anticipations of his future days; Of all that could endear him to this world; All things by reckless sons of pleasure urg'd As valid reasons for a worthless life; Hereditary titles, wealth immense, A long and honor'd line of ancestry; The vivid hopes and dazzling promises That in imagination's pictures gleam. By phantoms such as these the tempter sought To lure him into pathless wastes of vice, Where youthful uncurb'd passions, wandering wild, Should plunge him into depths of endless woe. With interest more intense the spirit of Heaven Now watch'd th' increasing dangers of his ward. He saw the ice that temper'd virtue's path Beneath the growing heat of passion melt. He saw the cloud of flickering imps more bold As virtue, in their hoped for victim, waned. Deep in the inmost chamber of his heart The faithful guardian of the youth retir'd; To all created beings invisible; Innate disorder impotent to heal; But ready to repel audacious foes, And resolute his station to maintain, Ere yet corruption to the centre reach'd. Tho' e'en to Cosmocrator's piercing view The guardian spirit of the youth lay hid, He knew that heav'nly powers unseen, would oft Break forth, like meteors in the vacant sky, With sudden consternation to his imps. He straitly charg'd those eager ministers To wait his word ere they presum'd to risk A daring entrance to the heart of Charles. The downward progress of the youth, he said, Had now begun, and with rapidity Increasing still, would still continue on. The aid of lost Cadwallader he now No longer thought 'twere needful to employ. Cadwallader's own fate so sure was deem'd, That from its wonted station in his breast Th' inspiring imp of darkness was discharg'd, And but requir'd to keep a transient watch. The godless profligates, of either sex, Amid whose wanton revelry he dwelt, Seem'd ample to defend him from all good, And whirl him headlong to perdition's gulph. But though within young Charles th' infernal imps Dared not to venture 'gainst their chief's command, They fail'd not to allure his heedless steps, By ev'ry art demoniac wit supplied, To tread along the tortuous paths that wind Through sights and sounds corruptive of the soul. The images, alas! of purity, By holy spirits set before the mind, Have seldom pow'r to cleanse or to conceal, E'en in the heart to virtue's voice inclin'd, The mental stains impress'd, in thousand ways, Amid the false allurements of this world. The fire of genius that diffus'd a glow Around our hero's piercing intellect New force imparted to the struggling crowd Of passions waken'd in his youthful breast. His anxious father fail'd not to perceive The dangers that encompass'd him around. For, from his mother he had so imbib'd A truthful habit, both in thought and word, That never was a line from him receiv'd Which wore the mark of low hypocrisy That would conceal the wand'ring of his steps, And dared not tell the workings of his mind. Grievous the pain that smote Sir Charles's heart At thought what dangers press'd his darling child! Who, that hath never prov'd them, can conceive The deep-felt throbbings of parental love? Th' alternate and commingled hopes and fears, The joys and sorrows, of a parent's heart? Beginning too ere yet their object's seen, Ere yet the germ is ripen'd into fruit! Then, from the first faint smile of infancy, Through ev'ry phase of life, continued still! To dissipate the youth's religious faith, Two unlike instruments his foes employ'd; He oft, with one or other, pass'd an hour. One was a dark uncompromising foe To ev'ry thought and action not prescrib'd Or sanction'd in the arbitrary code By self-erected legislators pass'd. A growing code that, ever and anon, Increas'd the catalogue of mortal sins, And stamp'd, to day, as crime what, yesterday, Was harmless as the sports of infancy. Oft was our Charles to indignation rous'd, When best-lov'd friends and dearest relatives Were thrown among a lost and wicked world, Because a dance was shameless wantonness; A card was but a leaf from Satan's book; A play, th' unerring guide to endless woe; A theatre! its very walls themselves With dire contagious leprosy infect! A life with ev'ry virtuous deed adorn'd Was worthless as the creed of atheists, If not on some dark threat'ning doctrine based, Inexplicable to the mind of man. And, save few gleanings, all the sons of men Were by this bold predestinating saint To endless woe triumphantly consign'd. The other tool with which the daemons wrought Was from this spirit of gloom as different far As from a dark and threat'ning thunder cloud The light that plays upon a dimpled stream. It was a joyous open hearted youth, Who by no steady principle was led. His thoughts were vapours floating on the air; But floating gently, ne'er by fierce winds driven. No mode of faith peculiar did he own; Nor with his neighbour's doctrine interfere. The natural feelings of his heart were kind; His converse pleasant, and his life seem'd good; But, from the tenor of his words, 'twas plain He own'd no motive higher than this world. Well did the archfiend know how sore perplex'd Would be a generous unexperienc'd mind To see religion clothed in midnight gloom, And breathing out ferocious threats of woe, While baseless infidelity display'd A voice and countenance that seem'd to speak The proper feelings of a christian heart The former of these two was Nathan call'd; As pleasant Harry, was the other known. In presence of our Charles when these two met, The gentleness of Harry's voice and mein, With Nathan's virulence, in contrast plac'd, Could not have fail'd a bias to create In Harry's favour, e'en within the breast Of one who knew the texture of his mind; How frail the principles on which 'twas bas'd; And who believ'd the other's faith sincere, Though warp'd by prejudice and party zeal. How then, before the view of artless youth, Could gentleness of spirit fail to appear More worthy than a desolating creed? Strange would it be, did Cosmocrator fail The witchery of woman to employ; Woman! the fairest creature of God's works! But form'd most powerful for weal or woe. 'Tis by a tender mother's care, that seeds Of virtue root most deeply in the heart: And ne'er more fiercely burn unholy flames Than when by woman kindled in the breast. The fiend, by woman's meretricious arts, Resolv'd the hoped for ruin to complete; To quench the inbred reverence for truth That 'gainst corruption still had prov'd a balm, To turn the current of his victim's love Astray from virtue's channel into wilds And barren wastes and putrid pools and fens. A fair and wily creature, in his path, Soon spread her murd'rous nets invisible. She from afar but recently had come, With false credentials and false pretexts arm'd. The guise of modesty she could assume, Wherewith to allure a young undoubting mind. A voice so touching and a smile so sweet The dang'rous temper could, at will, assume, That only sad experience would believe The base corrupted soul that lurk'd within. The name she from her infancy had borne, But deem'd by her too vulgar, short and harsh, Was for Clorinda now exchang'd, to suit The person of a soft romantic nymph. No wonder if a bright impetuous youth, Warm'd by a healthy current in his veins, And to the charms of beauty all alive, Should by a fiend-taught siren be entrapp'd. By interest prompted and satanic power, The false enchantress had her toils prepar'd To draw him headlong into wedlock's bond. Which if accomplish'd, Cosmocrator hoped, The seemly looking veil, that cover'd o'er Her vile deformity, would soon drop off, And show him, to a female demon bound; For ever by his kindred all renounc'd, And sunk into remediless despair Of earthly weal or happiness on high. But ere this specious minister of ill Could all her work of infamy complete, The spirits of health, who still at distance watch'd, Call'd to their aid a countervailing power. The sister of our Charles, and Mary Bruce, In warm unchang'd affection's strictest ties, Had, from their childhood, been together bound. In Mary's mind, or in her outward form, 'Twould have been hard a blemish to detect. The eye of Charles she ne'er had chanc'd to meet Since into youthful woman's fresh-blown charms Her girlish beauties had expanded full. 'Twas hoped that Mary's pure unsullied light Would quench the glitter of the siren's blaze, And undeceive the youth, when made to see The real diamond near its counterfeit. He to no human being had disclos'd The passion that was gaining on his soul. By youthful bashfulness he felt restrain'd; Nor would stern conscience say that all was right. His academic course, with honor trod, Was swiftly now approaching to a close. Of noble presence was his graceful form; Just at the full of manhood, like to fruit Not mellow'd yet, but full-grown, ripe and fair. Within Sir Charles's mind, a friendly power Inspir'd the wish to visit once again The halls of Oxford, ere his son return'd. Bright from the daughter's eyes beam'd youthful joy When, in the excursion, 'twas propos'd that she And Mary Bruce, her bosom friend, should join. Soon were the arrangements made, and soon, too soon, The short delightful journey at an end. No hint of their design had Charles receiv'd; They thought to enhance his pleasure by surprise. A courteous invitation was dispatch'd, That ask'd of him to meet three London friends, And told that two were of the gentler sex. He, straightway to attend them bent his course, Much wond'ring, on his way, who they might be; Nor did the truth once pass across his mind Till, greeted by his father's eager hand, And clos'd within his sister's fond embrace, He, for a moment, felt the joys of home, And glow of filial and fraternal love. But soon this natural ecstasy was quell'd Beneath the heartfelt shock that conscience gave. There was a stealthy movement in his eye, Unlike its wonted beam of cloudless truth. His father, at a glance, perceiv'd the change That had come o'er the spirit of his son; Yet gave no token of the anxious throb That swell'd his brain and flutter'd in his breast. He would not tempt his child, by alter'd looks, To hide his faults beneath sly subterfuge: And, from the artless nature of his son, He deem'd it all unlike that moral ill Could long within his bosom lie conceal'd; But that, like rum in liquor that ferments, It to the surface would, ere long, arise. The new-blown beauties of sweet Mary Bruce, In which she seem'd unconsciously array'd, With admiration fill'd the mind of Charles, Despite the syren's deep demoniac arts. Soon as the fiend perceiv'd the means employ'd To countermine and foil his sly attacks, And knew the power that Mary soon might wield, He boldly plann'd that very power to turn 'Gainst those who fondly trusted to its aid; Yet still abandon'd not the scheme on foot, But plied his instruments with keener force. To serve Clorinda as a lurking spy About the path of Charles, an artful wretch, Impure and wholly worthless as herself, She tempted to assume a menial guise By holding to her view a rich reward, Should Charles become the victim of their arts. To her pretended mistress soon she brought Advice of what new guests had late arrived; And, by her art consummate, had obtain'd The sight of each, and knowledge who they were. Of Mary's charms resistless when she told, Demoniac envy fill'd Clorinda's heart, And hate toward one she as a rival fear'd. Could she securely give to Mary's lip A poison'd draught, she would not shun the deed. But, be her purpose what it might, she strove O'er all her features to induce a calm, And hide the temper that within her lurk'd. When next with Charles in converse she engag'd, At first, with unconcern'd and bantering air, She question'd him of his fair visitants. But let the heart of woman once be touch'd With fiery hate, then, not satanic pow'r Can hide all trace of what's at work within. For Charles perceiv'd a momentary flash More fierce than fire in angry panther's eye. This gave a hint of grasping insolence He was of mind too lofty to endure E'en from the woman whom he most admir'd. In silence he withdrew, but well resolv'd To try her with the praise of Mary's charms, And watch the secret workings of her heart. Nor was it long ere he the trial made; For, when again they met, she had obtain'd A view of Mary, and had mark'd her well. She slightly spoke of her, in careless mood; As though she deem'd her but a pretty child; And, simpering, ask'd if she were yet at school. "Yes," he proclaim'd, "her bright inquiring mind "Will ever be at school, while aught's unlearn'd "Which well befits a gentle maid to know. "Whate'er true knowledge was at school obtain'd, "Without apparent effort she acquired. "And e'en the tinsels call'd accomplishments, "As worn by her, seem things of solid worth. "But Nature's book is what she loves to read. "And wonderful her store of knowledge is. "So strong her memory, and view so keen, "It seems as though by instinct she were taught. "She knows the stars that shine above her head, "The trees and plants and flowers that deck the fields, "And birds of ev'ry wing that cleave the air. "And so from ostentation is she free, "That none but intimates know what she is. "She, like the sky-lark, pours forth lofty notes; "And, like the sky-lark, loves to sing alone." Was all this but to prove Clorinda? - No! - 'Twas admiration kindling into love. Charles, to Clorinda, ever had appear'd All gentle liveliness, and pleasantry Resembling oft the frolics of a boy. But now, in mute astonishment, she quail'd Beneath the keen encounter of his eye, The clear determin'd ringing of his voice, His serious firm-set features, that display'd The stern decision of a high-bred mind. She utter'd not a word; but such a flush Of fire infernal darted from her eye, And such a cloud of black revenge and hate O'erspread her countenance, that Charles was chang'd To instant deeptoned horror and disgust. He parted from her, never to return. At once, he to his father all reveal'd. And when the secret press'd his heart no more, Again, with truth's pure light his features glow'd. "I saw," replied Sir Charles, "thy troubled mind, "But thought deceit could not be suffer'd long "To dwell companion with the spirit of truth "Which from your angel mother you imbib'd. "This fine Clorinda and her faithful maid "Whom you have notic'd skulking near your path, "Are female friends, no doubt, together leagued, "And instruments, by pow'rs of darkness us'd, "To draw you blindfold to perdition's gulph. "Long as they here remain, beware of them; "For, trust me, wand'ring outlaws such as these "Will look for no redress but black revenge. "Their legal code forbids not to employ "Th' assassin's dagger or the poison'd bowl. "Be mine the task to track their secret steps, "And meet their meditated schemes of ill." "Th' attempt were vain, to give a picture true "Of all the fury of Clorinda's rage; "The dread contortions of her face and limbs; The vile sardonic grin that ground her teeth, As she her fiend-like curses utter'd loud, And pour'd her torrent of opprobrius terms And threats of vengeance on the head of Charles. But when she found inquiries were abroad To search out who and what and whence she was, She deem'd it prudent, aided by the skill Of her accomplice in the swingling art, To flee at once, amid the shades of night; Her dues unpaid, and not a foot-print left By which to trace her course. Nor did Sir Charles Continue his pursuit; but felt right glad Thus easily to scare those birds of prey. The rage of Cosmocrator thus broke forth - "This dainty youth, it seems, has cured his burn "By heat emitted from another fire. "Shame! that an inexperienc'd blushing girl "Should put to rout my ministers of hell! "In this I trace that hateful Julia's hand. "May hell burn hotter, if I thwart her not! "The virtuous ardor in that young fool's breast "I will so feed with fuel of my own, "And fan it by my breath to flame so fierce, "That he and his unspotted minion, both "Shall sink resistless victims to its rage." Charles, happily escap'd from woman's snares, And his collegiate course with honor clos'd, In England's great metropolis, at once Assum'd his place in fashion's highest ranks; Caress'd, extoll'd and courted by the world: For all things mortals covet were his own; A form and feature cast in beauty's mould; A noble lineage and a dauntless heart; The highest pow'rs of native intellect; And brows with bright scholastic honors crown'd; Abundant present and prospective wealth; And all these gifts with youth and health adorn'd. Thus, in abundant measure, he possess'd Whate'er could tempt to vanity and pride. But, from the native kindness of his heart, He wore an air of gentle modesty, That gave no sign of varnish'd arrogance. Enjoy'd he but an ordinary lot, That to his natural feelings gave full play, The fondness felt for Mary would, ere this, Have burst into a blaze of ardent love. His high-toned honor ne'er had suffer'd him, While doubtful of the course he should pursue, To wake in Mary's mind, by word or look, The thought that more than friendship's warmth he felt. If in her heart a tender feeling lurk'd, Her innate dignity conceal'd it there. And thus no claim of honor or of right 'Gainst either could be urg'd, for both were free. Had her demeanor rais'd in him the thought That of another she might be the prize, A strange alarm would have disturb'd his breast. But never could she play the sly coquette; For aught like artifice her soul abhorr'd. Thus not diminish'd were the potent lures From virtue's path, that now encompass'd Charles. His thoughts in pleasure's chase were so engross'd, And so bewilder'd in her flowery maze, That time was not afforded him for aught That could not in the instant be attain'd. So pleasure-bound, he could not e'en pursue And take the girl whom in his heart lov'd. The union of these two had been the hope And ardent wish of Julia and Sir Charles, Who now bethought him that 'twere well to urge His son, ere quite distracted by the world. But Julia, with a woman's tact, said - "No; "'Tis not the marriage of estates you seek, "But blissful union of two loving hearts. "Believe me then, touch not the flower of love; "'Twill shrink and die beneath a forcing hand." In theory, Charles was a christian true; And with sound logic could his faith defend. But, from the youthful mind, while present joys Shut out all hopes and fears of future things, And while this life appears an endless course, Religion can be but an empty name. Charles, for a time, neglected not his mind; Nor suffer'd all its culture to run waste. But soon, the reckless whirl of fashion's throng, And bold example of his youthful peers, Produced such wild delirium in his brain, That he could nought but sensual pleasures taste; The dance, the rout, the revel and debauch; The idle sports that boast of killing time. Not e'en the drama, now, could pleasure give, Save when mix'd up with exhibitions lewd, From which the eye of modesty should turn. The daemons, circling him more closely round, With keener malice plied their dev'lish wiles. The archfield eagerly now watch'd the time To raise unholy heat within his veins. 'Twas at a ball, where Charles and Mary met, That he commenc'd the practice of his scheme. Charles, loitering idly, gaz'd upon the dance, While Mary and his sister, closely link'd, Flew, light as fairies, in the dizzy waltz. The daemons now put forth their secret power To throw a thought into a willing mind. That sister was more sportive than a fawn; And lov'd, good-humour'dly, to teaze her friend. She made to Charles a sign, and as they pass'd, She parted, like a dream, from her embrace, And left her circled in her brother's arm. The fiend now thought the heat of youthful blood Would breed corruption in the heart of both. But e'en the devil may outwit himself; For, all around our Mary's charms there breath'd An odour of such sacred innocence, And from her eyes there beam'd a light so pure, That Charles was aw'd, and struck with self-reproach For having dar'd familiarly to treat A heav'nly creature free from earthly stain. Forthwith, from his embrace he set her free, And to his sister yielded her again. Could it to human sigh have been allow'd, A glorious vision would have then appear'd. For, like a shower of meteors glancing bright, The heav'nly spirits compass'd her around, Exulting o'er their wicked foe's defeat. Charles, from that moment, was a changed man. No longer valued he his wonted sports, His hunting, driving, cricket, billiard, bowles. Love, holy love confess'd, now swayed his heart. The guardian spirit, in the heart of Charles That lay conceal'd, while he was wandering wild, Forth issued, freely in his breast to dwell, When pure love there had wrought a happy change. It were a tale told o'er and o'er again, To tell how he his ardent love declar'd, And how sweet Mary own'd a mutual flame. So young and inexperienc'd were they both, That, ere united by the nuptial tie, It was resolv'd that he in foreign lands Should gain a wider knowledge of the world. Good Frank Adrain, at once, with honest zeal, Agreed to go, his counsellor and friend. For many a month, they wander'd far and wide Through splendid cities, and o'er ruin'd heaps; Admir'd the structures and the works of art Whose authors live in memory of man, And saw with wonder, not unmix'd with awe, The prodigies still left from times unknown; Trod mountain snows and burning desert sands; Climb'd barren cliffs and stray'd through verdant vales; And men and manners view'd in various forms, From polish'd life, to wild and wandering hordes. Forth issued, freely in his breast to dwell, When pure love there had wrought a happy change. Their steps, at length, our travellers homeward turn'd. And when the gay metropolis they reach'd, By Frenchmen deem'd the glory of the world, His angel woke in Charles the kindly thought To seek Cadwallader, his long lost friend. Long was the search, ere his abode they found. 'Twas in a quarter squalid and obscure. The master of a wretched tenement Stared at the visitors, while pointing to the Door of an apartment small and mean. Their knock was answer'd by a hoarse low voice That seem'd unwillingly to bid them in. George, as they enter'd, languidly arose, And put from him th' inebriating draught; Of misery, too oft, the last resort. Not time alone had wrought in him sad change. A life in gambling and in riot spent, Embitter'd by a conscience-stricken heart, To premature decrepitude had brought The puff'd-up cavilling philosopher. Emaciated, pale, and faint of breath, His aspect gave sure token of decay. His visitors he view'd with doubtful glance: But when their well-known names had caught his ear, A sudden flash pass'd o'er his sunken cheeks; And had his natural impulse been obey'd, He would have caught them in his warm embrace. But vanity, the poison of his soul, Was now conjoin'd with morbid shame-fac'd pride. To hinder all inquiries which he shunn'd, A cold, repulsive manner he assum'd. But honest rugged Frank's warm Irish heart Was not to be repuls'd by sullen looks. Frank bluntly ask'd if he of aught had need. "Of money if you speak," George sneering said, "The means I still retain suffice me quite "To keep off beggary or suicide." - "And if to suicide you're brought," said Frank, "Does your philosophy still give you power :To quell all dread of what may then ensue? - "Before you ply me with religious cant," George, angry, said, "make out some certain faith, "Confess'd by all, to which I may subscribe. "Confusion 'tis and contradiction all. "'Tis holy zeal, to wrangle and condemn; "To boast of peace and love mid war and hate; "To preach one thing and practice the reverse." - "Too true," Adrian reply'd, "too true that men "Are wretchedly corrupt and blind and vain. "But, in what climes so'er, throughout the world, "Sincerity and gentleness are found, "I greatly err if minds of men diverge "So wide apart as commonly believ'd. "Take what your mother taught you, and be quiet. "Ah! George Cadwallader, 'tis horrible "To have no friend but Satan in this world." No answer he return'd, but Charles observ'd A slight convulsive motion on his lip. They parted; and 'twas sad to part from him In such a mood and such a hapless state. It was the unxious wish of Charles, for George, That Julia to his succour could be sent, And prove on him her soothing eloquence. When to their homes our travellers return'd, And Julia learn'd the piteous state of George, And that his end could not be distant far, At once, without a hint from Charles receiv'd, Her settled purpose answer'd all his wish. She bade him be her escort on the way; And for her journey instantly prepar'd. How Charles and Mary met, is not describ'd; Nor how they griev'd so soon again to part. For things of higher note here claim our thoughts Than joys and pains by youthful lovers felt. When Julia enter'd the abode of George, She found him stretch'd upon his bed of death. Then Cosmocrator to his legions call'd; And thus address'd the throng assembled round - "Soon will the soul of George Cadwallader "Be on the wing. I go to watch its flight, "And bring it down to this its destin'd place. "That clumsy Irishman has done no harm; And meddling Julia now bestirs herself "Too late to preach and pray him up to heaven. "In youth, a famous dancer has he been. "Now, when I go, get up, in brilliant style, "A fancy ball, to greet him when he comes. "'Twill be the hottest dance he ever join'd." He ceased - and for their frolic they prepar'd; For devils have their frolics, like mankind, That serve but to increase their depth of woe. Soon as their chief retir'd, the ball began. It was, in truth, a wild fantastic scene. A countless throng, of either sex, it seem'd, In endless groups extending far and wide. There might be seen the dwellers in all climes; Each nation in its own distinctive garb; And all the whims that Fashion ere conceiv'd; From jealous modes that quite conceal the form, To full display of high-bred nakedness. And freaks and fancies in attire appear'd To which no human thought has ever reach'd. No style of dancing but could there be seen. Starch sober-looking dames swam smoothly round In dresses swoll'n by wide extended hoops. Full many a brilliant circling set display'd Lightfooted Gallia's elegance and art. There frequent bands of dervishes were seen, Like spinning jennys, swiftly whirling round. And sober quakers danc'd, to cause a laugh, Till streams of sweat ran down their sunken cheeks. The war-dance of the painted savage too Display'd its antics mid loud shouts and yells. The polka too and waltz were favorites there; And interlacing strange of all the limbs, Not yet to mortals here disclos'd and taught. And wild agility such freaks display'd As none but fiery daemons could perform. A separate music waited on each group Compos'd of voices floating in the air, Resembling instruments of ev'ry sound. Each group perceiv'd no music but its own, Save when in one grand round th' assembly join'd. Then would arise a burst of sound too deep And loud to be endur'd by mortal ears. While thus th' infernal revel rais'd its din, The fiend was hovering o'er the couch of George, Like bird obscene, to pounce upon his prey; Yet kept aloof from Julia, who was there; Nor would he listen to the words she spoke. Her softly-flowing voice of Christian love Was oil that made more fierce his inward fire. When gently she approach'd the dying man, His half-clos'd eyes he op'd, but could not speak. The semblance of a smile stray'd o'er his lips, And faintly her extended hand he press'd. She kindly sooth'd him, as she wept and pray'd - "George, I believe you've not been what you seem'd; "A heartless unrelenting profligate. "Oh! make me, George, some sign that you repent; "That you believe what you in childhood learn'd." He, with a dying effort, breath'd - "I do" - With this last breath his trembling soul came forth; And Cosmocrator rush'd to bear it off. But, from the host of heaven a spirit came, And snatch'd it from his grasp - and George was sav'd! A bird, thus, floating on a rapid stream, Whose violence forbids it to take wing, Just as it rushes o'er the cataract's brow To meet destruction in the roaring gulph, Is caught and borne upon the viewless air, And, circling, wings its joyous flight aloft. Down to earth's centre Cosmocrator dropp'd. "Away!" - like thunder, to his imps he roar'd. At once, the pageant was dissolv'd and gone, More quick than steam by gelid water dash'd; And all the actors shrunk again to imps. Thus, bubbles for amusement blown, that rise In rainbow colours, floating on the air, Will burst beneath a breath of wind too rude, And each be dwindled to a drop minute. When round their chief his myrmidons drew near, "Curse on those women!" furious, he exclaim'd; The soul of George had now been one of us, "Had not that ghost-like widow come between. "The mother, too, of Charles liv'd long enough "To fill his mind with notions fix'd so deep, "That never could I root them wholly out. "And now a second Julia has appear'd, "With power, methinks, superior to the first. "We've learn'd, by trial, that 'tis all in vain "To struggle for possession of his soul. "You who had special charge to watch him round, "Now give the freedom other mortals have. He yet may meet with ruin in his way. "All, now, resume your wand'rings o'er the world; "And, wheresoe'er you turn, spread death and woe." The angel-guard of Charles now thus bespoke The spirit of health that round his father watch'd - "With thee I would confer of what is best "And safest for the soul of my young ward. "Thou know'st the change, of late, within him wrought; "And how the noxious weeds that chok'd his mind "Are now replac'd by healthful shoots that grow "From seeds implanted by his mother's care.' "Were it not best, while thus at peace with heaven, "To bid his soul take wing to heav'nly climes? "'Tis true, no longer, now he moves, the mark "For wicked imps select to ply their skill; "But troops of daemons ever range the world, "To seize on erring mortals as their prey. "Fain would I snatch him from this dangerous state; "For o'er his life and death full pow'r I have" - Mildly the other answer'd - "Thou art right. "Yet it seems cruel, and I freely own "Much pity I shall feel for my Sir Charles "In all the anguish of his manly heart. "But thou art right; for, in this world of woe, "The pains endur'd are oft like surgeon's wounds, "That cause a present hurt for future health; "And bravely will his spirit face the blow: "For, though unostentatious to the world, "Within his soul capacious dwells a power "That dares to grapple with the giant thoughts "Which stride beyond the bounds of time and space. "Go then, and gently execute thy will." The nuptials, now, of Charles were soon to crown The anxious wishes of his father's heart; When Mary thus to Julia sadly spoke - "I have, concerning Charles, forebodings strange. "For, ever and anon, methinks I see "Such tokens of incipient disease "As fill me with anticipations dire." Julia believ'd these but the anxious dreams Engender'd in a loving maiden's brain; And sought to chase them by her fearless smile And sportive words of fond encouragement. But friendly angels had, with kind intent, Induced the maiden with a keener sight; That her predestin'd sorrow, seen afar, Might come with shock less sudden and severe. All were, at length, constrain'd with grief to own That Mary's apprehensions were too true; That Charles was doom'd, in flower of youth, to wane Beneath a painless, but a sure disease. Then, as his faint corporeal frame decay'd, The native rigour of his mind arose. No weak complaining of untimely fate And cruel disappointment, pass'd his lips. With manly courage, based on Christian faith, He saw his end approach. He strove to soothe The bitter anguish of his Mary's heart By ev'ry argument and ev'ry hope That reason and religion could afford. Nor was it all in vain that he essay'd To lift her soul above this transient state. When he perceiv'd the symptoms of his end Approaching near, he thus to Julia spoke - "Oft I recall what once to me occurr'd. "I was retiring to my night's repose. "My candle's glaring light when I put out, "Expecting instant darkness to succeed, "Surpris'd, I found the moon's soft silvery ray "Spread like a mantle o'er the objects round. "Oh, that this were an emblem of my death! - " Nor was this wish mere fancy of the brain; For, when in death his mortal vision closed, A light celestial beam'd upon his soul, And wings of seraphs wafted it aloft. On other suitors Mary never smil'd. Her life she pass'd in union with her friend The daughter of Sir Charles - true nobleman! Who, with high christian magnanimity, Look'd all his sorrows bravely in the face. And Heaven was pleas'd to grant him still on earth Some pure unsullied pleasure to enjoy. For, in due time, the daughter, for whose sake Alone he valued aught the world could give, Was wedded as her heart and his approv'd, And rear'd a healthful beauteous progeny Whom, with a parent's tenderness he lov'd. And when the hour for his departure came, Surrounded by the children of his child, As Julia clos'd his eyes, he ceas'd to breathe. The work of Julia, now, on earth was done. She follow'd, soon, her brother to the skies. And never spirit wing'd its flight, more calm, More innocent, more joyous to depart. 'Twas not disease that prey'd upon her life; It was her soul, that panted to be free. When, as she sank in death, her eyes grew dim, She thought 'twas sleep; and when her spirit pass'd, It seem'd to her as though she woke refresh'd, In wonder at the happy change she felt. Two joyous cherubs greeted her - they were her own.
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