Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

TO A YOUNG LADY, WITH A POEM ON

THE FRENCH REVOLUTION.

Much on my early youth I love to dwell,
Ere yet I bade that friendly dome farewell,
Where first, beneath the echoing cloisters pale,
I heard of guilt and wondered at the tale!
Yet though the hours flew by on careless wing,
Full heavily of Sorrow would I sing.
Aye as the star of evening fung its beam
In broken radiance on the wavy stream,
My soul amid the pensive twilight gloom
Mourned with the breeze, O LEE Boo!" o'er thy tomb.
Where'er I wandered, Pily still was near,
Breathed from the heart and glistened in the tear :

* Lee Boo, the son of Abba Thule, Prince of the Pelew Islands, came over to England with Captain Wilson, died of the small-pos, and is buried in Greenwich church-yard. See Keate's Account.

No knell that tolled, but filled my

anxious

eye, And suffering Nature wept that one should die!"

Thus to sad sympathies I soothed my breast,
Calm, as the rainbow in the weeping West:
When slumbering FREEDOM roused with high DISDAIN
With giant fury burst her triple chain !
Fierce on her front the blasting Dog-star glowed;
Her Banners, like a midnight Meteor, flowed ;
Amid the yelling of the storm-rent skies !
She came, and scattered battles from her eyes !
Then ExULTATION waked the patriot fire
And swept with wilder hand the Alcæan lyre:
Red from the Tyrant's wound I shook the lance,
And strode in joy the reeking plains of France !

Fallen is the oppressor, friendless, ghastly, low,
And my heart aches, though MERCY struck the blow.
With wearied thought once more I seek the shade,
Where peaceful Virtue weaves the Myrtie braid.
And O! if Eyes whose holy glances roll,
Swift messengers, and eloquent of soul;
If SMILEs more winning, and a gentler Mien
'Than the love-wildered Maniac's brain hath seen

* Southey's Retrospect.

Shaping celestial forms in vacant air,
If these demand the empassioned Poet's care-
If Mirtli and softened Sense and Wit refined,
The blameless features of a lovely mind;
Then haply shall my trembling hand assign
No fading wreath to Beauty's saintly shrine.
Nor, SARA! thou these early Aowers refuse-
Ne'er lurked the snake beneath their simple hues ;
No purple bloom the Child of Nature brings
From Flattery's night-shade: as he feels he sings,

September, 1792.

SONNET I.

Content, as random Fancies might inspire,
If his weak harp at times or lonely lyre
He struck with desultory hand, and drew
Some softened tones to Nature not untrue.

Bowles.

My heart has thanked thee, Bowles! for those soft

strains Whose sadness soothes me, like the murmuring Of wild-bees in the sunny showers of spring! For hence not callous to the mourner's pains Through Youths'gay prime and thornless paths I wept: And when the mightier Throes of mind began, And drove me forth, a thought-bewildered man! Their roild and manliest melancholy lent A mingled charm, such as the pang consigned To slumber, though the big tear it renewed; Bidding a strange mysterious Pleasure brood Over the wavy and tumultuous mind, As the great Spirit erst with plastic sweep Moved on the darkness of the unformed deep.

SONNET II.

As late I lay in slumber's shadowy vale, With wetted cheek and in a mourner's guise, I saw the sainted form of FREEDOM rise : She spake ! not sadder moans the autumnal gale“ Great Son of Genius! sweet to me thy name, " Ere in an evil hour with altered voice “ Thou badst Oppression's hireling crew rejoice “ Blasting with wizard spell my laurelled fame. “Yet never, BURKE! thou drank'st Corruption's bowl! “ The stormy Pity and the cherished lure “ Of Pomp, and proud Precipitance of soul Wildered with meteor fires.

Ah Spirit pure! " That error's mist had left thy purged eye:

So might I clasp thee with a Mother's joy!

« ZurückWeiter »