Page images
[blocks in formation]


Ar fond sixteen my roving heart
Was pierced by love's delightful dart:
Keen transport throbb'd through every vein,
-I never felt so sweet a pain!

Where circling woods embower'd the glade,
I met the dear romantic maid:

I stole her hand,-it shrunk,-but no;
I would not let my captive go.

With all the fervency of youth,
While passion told the tale of truth,
I mark'd my Hannah's downcast eye,
'Twas kind, but beautifully shy.

Not with a warmer, purer ray,
The sun, enamour'd, woos young May;
Nor May, with softer maiden grace,
Turns from the sun her blushing face;

But, swifter than the frighted dove,
Fled the gay morning of my love;
Ah! that so bright a morn, so soon,
Should vanish in so dark a noon.

The angel of affliction rose,
And in his grasp a thousand woes;
He pour'd his vial on my head,
And all the heaven of rapture fled.

Yet, in the glory of my pride,

I stood, and all his wrath defied;

I stood, though whirlwinds shook my brain, And lightnings cleft my soul in twain.

I shunn'd my nymph;-and knew not why
I durst not meet her gentle eye;

I shunn'd her-for I could not bear
To marry her to my despair.

Yet, sick at heart with hope delay'd,
Oft the dear image of that maid
Glanced, like the rainbow, o'er my mind,
And promised happiness behind.

The storm blew o'er, and in my breast
The halcyon peace rebuilt her nest:
The storm blew o'er, and clear and mild
The sea of youth and pleasure smiled.

'Twas on a merry morn of May,
To Hannah's cot I took my way:
My eager hopes were on the wing,
Like swallows sporting in the spring,

Then as I climb'd the mountains o'er,
I lived my wooing days once more;
And fancy sketch'd my married lot,
My wife, my children, and my cot.

I saw the village steeple rise,-
My soul sprang, sparkling, in my eyes;
The rural bells rang sweet and clear,-
My fond heart listen'd in mine ear.
I reach'd the hamlet:-all was gay;
I love a rustic holiday.

I met a wedding,-stepp'd aside;
It pass'd-my Hannah was the bride.

-There is a grief that cannot feel; It leaves a wound that will not heal; -My heart grew cold,-it felt not then: When shall it cease to feel again?



ALL hail to the ruins, the rocks and the shores!
Thou wide-rolling ocean, all hail!
Now brilliant with sunbeams, and dimpled with oars,
Now dark with the fresh blowing gale,
While soft o'er thy bosom the cloud shadows sail,
And the silver-wing'd sea-fowl on high,
Like meteors bespangle the sky,

Or dive in the gulf, or triumphantly ride,
Like foam on the surges, the swans of the tide.

From the tumult and smoke of the city set free,
With eager and awful delight;

From the crest of the mountain I gaze upon thee;
I gaze, and am changed at the sight;
For mine eye is illumined, my genius takes flight,
My soul, like the sun, with a glance
Embraces the boundless expanse,

And moves on thy waters, wherever they roll, From the day-darting zone to the night-shadow'd pole.

My spirit descends where the day-spring is born, Where the billows are rubies on fire,

And the breezes that rock the light cradle of morn
Are sweet as the phoenix's pyre:

O regions of beauty, of love, and desire!
O gardens of Eden! in vain

Placed far on the fathomless main,

Where nature with innocence dwelt in her youth,
When pure was her heart, and unbroken her truth.

But now the fair rivers of Paradise wind
Through countries and kingdoms o'erthrown;
Where the giant of tyranny crushes mankind,
Where he reigns,-and will soon reign alone;
For wide and more wide, o'er the sunbeaming zoue
He stretches his hundred-fold arms,

Despoiling, destroying its charms;

Beneath his broad footstep the Ganges is dry,
And the mountains recoil from the flash of his eye.

Thus the pestilent Upas, the demon of trees,
Its boughs o'er the wilderness spreads,
And with livid contagion polluting the breeze,
Its mildewing influence sheds:

The birds on the wing, and the flowers in their beds,
Are slain by its venomous breath,

That darkens the noonday with death,

And pale ghosts of travellers wander around, While their mouldering skeletons whiten the ground.

Ah! why hath JEHOVAH, in forming the world, With the waters divided the land,

His ramparts of rocks round the continent hurl'd, And cradled the deep in his hand,

If man may transgress his eternal command,

* Scarborough Castle.

And leap o'er the bounds of his birth, To ravage the uttermost earth,

And violate nations and realms that should be Distinct as the billows, yet one as the sea?

There are, gloomy ocean, a brotherless clan,
Who traverse thy banishing waves,
The poor disinherited outcasts of man,
Whom avarice coins into slaves.

-But the cries of the fatherless mix with her praise,

And the tears of the widow are shed on her bays.

O Britain! dear Britain! the land of my birth:
O isle, most enchantingly fair!

Thou pearl of the ocean! thou gem of the earth!
O my mother! my mother! beware;
For wealth is a phantom, and empire a snare ;

From the homes of their kindred, their forefathers' O let not thy bi.thright be sold


Love, friendship, and conjugal bliss,

They are dragg'd on the hoary abyss;

The shark hears their shrieks, and ascending to-day,
Demands of the spoiler his share of the prey.

Then joy to the tempest that whelms them beneath,
And makes their destruction its sport;
But wo to the winds that propitiously breaine,
And waft them in safety to port,

Where the vultures and vampires of Mammon resort;

Where Europe exultingly drains

The life-blood from Africa's veins;

Where man rules o'er man with a merciless rod,
And spurns at his footstool the image of God.

The hour is approaching-a terrible hour!
And Vengeance is bending her bow;
Already the clouds of the hurricane lower,
And the rock-rending whirlwinds blow:
Back rolls the huge ocean, hell opens below:
The floods return headlong,-they sweep
The slave-cultured lands to the deep,

In a moment entomb'd in the horrible void,
By their Maker himself in his anger destroy'd.

Shall this be the fate of the cane-planted isles,
More lovely than clouds in the west,

For reprobate glory and gold:

Thy distant dominions like wild graftings shoot, They weigh down thy trunk,-they will tear up thy root:

The root of thine OAK, O my country! that stands Rock-planted and flourishing free;

Its branches are stretch'd o'er the uttermost lands,
And its shadow eclipses the sea:

The blood of our ancestors nourish'd the tree;
From their tombs, from their ashes it sprung;
Its boughs with their trophies are hung;
Their spirit dwells in it:-and, hark! for it spoke;
The voice of our fathers ascends from their oak:-
"Ye Britons, who dwell where we conquer'd of old,
Who inherit our battle-field graves;

Though poor were your fathers,-gigantic and bold,
We were not, we could not be, slaves;

But firm as our rocks, and as free as our waves,
The spears of the Romans we broke,
We never stoop'd under their yoke;

In the shipwreck of nations we stood up alone,The world was great Cæsar's-but Britain our own. "For ages and ages, with barbarous foes,

The Saxon, Norwegian, and Gaul,

We wrestled, were foil'd, were cast down, but we


With new vigour, new life, from each fall:

When the sun o'er the ocean descending in smiles, By all we were conquer'd—WE CONQUER'D THEM

Sinks softly and sweetly to rest?

-No-Father of mercy! befriend the opprest;
At the voice of thy gospel of peace

May the sorrows of Africa cease;
And slave and his master devoutly unite

To walk in thy freedom, and dwell in thy light!*

As homeward my weary-wing'd fancy extends,
Her star-lighted course through the skies,
High over the mighty Atlantic ascends,
And turns upon Europe her eyes:

Ah, me! what new prospects, new horrors arise?
I see the war-tempested flood

All foaming, and panting with blood;
The panic-struck ocean in agony roars,
Rebounds from the battle, and flies to his shores.

For Britannia is wielding the trident to-day
Consuming her foes in her ire,

And hurling her thunder with absolute sway
From her wave-ruling chariots of fire:

-She triumphs;-the winds and the waters con


-To spread her invincible name;

-The universe rings with her fame;


-The cruel, and cannibal mind,

We soften'd, subdued, and refined;

Bears, wolves, and sea-monsters, they rush'd from

their den;

We taught them, we tamed them, we turn'd them

to men.

"Love led the wild hordes in his flower-woven bands,

The tenderest, strongest of chains;

Love married our hearts, he united our hands,
And mingled the blood in our veins;

One race we became :-on the mountains and plains,
Where the wounds of our country were closed,
The ark of religion reposed,

The unquenchable altar of liberty blazed,
And the temple of justice in mercy was raised.

"Ark, altar, and temple, we left with our breath' To our children, a sacred bequest;

O guard them, O keep them, in life and in death!
So the shades of your fathers shall rest,
And your spirits with ours be in Paradise blest:
-Let ambition, the sin of the brave,

And avarice, the soul of a slave,

Alluding to the glorious success of the Moravian mis. No longer seduce your affections to roam

sionaries among the Negroes in the West Indies.

From liberty, justice, religion, AT HOME."


ONCE in the flight of ages past,

There lived a man ;-and WHO WAS HE?
-Mortal! howe'er thy lot be cast,
That man resembled thee.

Unknown the region of his birth,
The land in which he died unknown:
His name has perish'd from the earth,
This truth survives alone:-

That joy and grief, and hope and fear,
Alternate triumph'd in his breast:
His bliss and wo,-a smile, a tear!
-Oblivion hides the rest.

The bounding pulse, the languid limb,
The changing spirits' rise and fall;
We know that these were felt by him,
For these are felt by all.

He suffer'd, but his pangs are o'er;
Enjoy'd, but his delights are fled;

Had friends, his friends are now no more;
And foes, his foes are dead.

He loved,--but whom he loved, the grave
Hath lost in its unconscious womb:
O she was fair-but naught could save
Her beauty from the tomb.

He saw whatever thou hast seen; Encounter'd all that troubles thee; He was whatever thou hast been; He is what thou shalt be.

The rolling seasons, day and night,
Sun, moon, and stars, the earth and main,
Erewhile his portion, life, and light,
To him exist in vain.

The clouds and sunbeams, o'er his eye
That once their shades and glory threw,
Have left in yonder silent sky
No vestige where they flew.

The annals of the human race,
Their ruins, since the world began,
Of Iм afford no other trace

The weeping minstrel sings,

And, while her numbers flow, My spirit trembles with the strings, Responsive to the notes of wo.

Would gladness move a sprightlier strain, And wake his wild harp's clearest tones, The chords, impatient to complain,

Are dumb, or only utter moans.

And yet, to soothe the mind

With luxury of grief,

The soul to suffering all resign'd In sorrow's music feels relief.

Thus o'er the light Eolian lyre

The winds of dark November stray, Touch the quick nerve of every wire, And on its magic pulses play;

Till all the air around

Mysterious murmurs fill,

A strange bewildering dream of sound,
Most heavenly sweet,--yet mournful still.

O! snatch the harp from Sorrow's hand,
Hope! who hast been a stranger long;
O! strike it with sublime command,
And be the poet's life thy song.

Of vanish'd troubles sing,

Of fears for ever fled,

of flowers that hear the voice of spring, And burst and blossom from the dead:

Of home, contentment, health, repose,
Serene delights, while years increase;
And weary life's triumphant close

In some calm sunset hour of peace;
Of bliss that reigns above,

Celestial May of youth, Unchanging as Jehovah's love,

And everlasting as his truth:

Sing, heavenly Hope!-and dart thine hand
O'er my frail harp, untuned so long;
That harp shall breathe, at thy command,
Immortal sweetness through thy song.

Ah! then, this gloom control,
And at thy voice shall start
A new creation in my soul,
A native Eden in my heart.


I GAVE my harp to Sorrow's hand,
And she has ruled the chords so long,
They will not speak at my command;-
They warble only to her song.

Of dear, departed hours,

Too fondly loved to last,

The dew, the breath, the bloom of flowers,
Snapt in their freshness by the blast:

Of long, long years of future care,
Till lingering nature yields her breath,
And endless ages of despair,

Beyond the judgment-day of death:-


Verses written for an urn, made out of the trunk of the weeping willow, imported from the East, and planted by Pope in his grounds at Twickenham, where it flourished many years; but, falling into decay, it was lately cut down.

ERE Pope resign'd his tuneful breath,
And made the turf his pillow,
The minstrel hung his harp in death
Upon the drooping willow;

[blocks in formation]

By harvest moonlight there he spied
The fairy bands advancing;
Bright Ariel's troops, on Thames's side,
Around the willow dancing;
Gay sylphs among the foliage play'd,
And glow-worms glitter'd in the shade.

One morn, while Time thus mark'd the tree
In beauty green and glorious,

"The hand," he cried, "that planted thee O'er mine was oft victorious;

Be vengeance now my calm employ,--
One work of Pope's I will destroy."

He spake, and struck a silent blow

With that dread arm whose motion
Lays cedars, thrones, and temples low,
And wields o'er land and ocean
The unremitting axe of doom,
That fells the forest of the tomb.
Deep to the willow's root it went,

And cleft the core asunder,
Like sudden secret lightning, sent
Without recording thunder:
-From that sad moment, slow away
Began the willow to decay.

In vain did spring those bowers restore,
Where loves and graces revell'd,
Autumn's wild gales the branches tore,
The thin gray leaves dishevell'd,
And every wasting winter found
The willow nearer to the ground.

Hoary, and weak, and bent with age,
At length the axe assail'd it:
It bow'd before the woodman's rage;
-The swans of Thames bewail'd it,
With softer tones, with sweeter breath,
Than ever charm'd the ear of death.

O Pope! hadst thou, whose lyre so long
The wondering world enchanted,
Amidst thy paradise of song

This weeping willow planted;

[blocks in formation]


O, WHEN shall I visit the land of my birth,
The loveliest land on the face of the earth?
When shall I those scenes of affection explore,
Our forests, our fountains,

Our hamlets, our mountains,
With the pride of our mountains, the maid I adore?
O, when shall I dance on the daisy-white mead,
In the shade of an elm, to the sound of the reed?
When shall I return to that lowly retreat,
Where all my fond objects of tenderness meet,-
The lambs and the heifers that follow my call,
My father, my mother,

My sister, my brother,

And dear Isabella, the joy of them all?
O, when shall I visit the land of my birth?
-'Tis the loveliest land on the face of the earth.


THIS shadow on the dial's face,

That steals from day to day,
With slow, unseen, unceasing pace,
Moments, and months, and years away;
This shadow, which, in every clime,
Since light and motion first began,
Hath held its course sublime-
What is it?-Mortal man!

It is the scythe of time:
-A shadow only to the eye;
Yet, in its calm career,

It levels all beneath the sky;

And still, through each succeeding year
Right onward, with resistless power,
Its stroke shall darken every hour,
Till nature's race be run,

And time's last shadow shall eclipse the sun

« PreviousContinue »