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The pledge we wore-I wear it still,
But where is thine ?-ah, where art thou? Oft have I borne the weight of ill, But never bent beneath till now! Well hast thou left in life's best bloom The cup of woe for me to drain. If rest alone be in the tomb,
I would not wish thee here again;
To wean me from mine anguish here.
AWAY, away, ye notes of woe!
Be silent, thou once soothing strain,
I dare not trust those sounds again.
On what I am, on what I was.
The voice that made those sounds more sweet
A dirge, an anthem o'er the dead!
Beloved dust! since dust thou art;
Is worse than discord to my heart!
"T is silent all!-but on my ear
'The well-remember'd echoes thrill; I hear a voice I would not hear,
A voice that now might well be still;
Sweet Thyrza! waking as in sleep,
Thou art but now a lovely dream;
A star that trembled o'er the deep,
Then turn'd from earth its tender beam. But he who through life's dreary way Must pass, when heaven is veil'd in wrath, Will long lament the vanish'd ray That scatter'd gladness o'er his path.
Then bring me wine, the banquet bring;
That smiles with all and weeps with none. It was not thus in days more dear,
It never would have been, but thou Hast fled, and left me lonely here;
Thou 'rt nothing, all are nothing now.
In vain my lyre would lightly breathe!
On many a lone and lovely night
It soothed to gaze upon the sky; For then I deem'd the heavenly light
Shone sweetly on thy pensive eye; And oft I thought at Cynthia's noon, When sailing o'er the Ægean wave, "Now Thyrza gazes on that moon-" Alas, it gleam'd upon her grave!
When stretch'd on fever's sleepless bed,
And sickness shrunk my throbbing veins, ""T is comfort still," I faintly said,
"That Thyrza cannot know my pains:" Like freedom to the time-worn slave, A boon 't is idle then to give, Relenting Nature vainly gave My life when Thyrza ceased to live!
My Thyrza's pledge in better days, When love and life alike were new, How different now thou meet'st my gaze! How tinged by time with sorrow's hue! The heart that gave itself with thee
Is silent-ah, were mine as still! Though cold as even the dead can be, It feels, it sickens with the chill.
Thou bitter pledge! thou mournful token! Though painful, welcome to my breast! Still, still, preserve that love unbroken,
Or break the heart to which thou 'rt prest' Time tempers love, but not removes, More hallow'd when its hope is fled: Oh! what are thousand living loves To that which cannot quit the dead?
ONE struggle more, and I am frec
With things that never pleased before: Though every joy is fled below,
What future grief can touch me more?
WHEN time, or soon or late, shall bring
Wave gently o'er my dying bed!
But silent let me sink to earth,
With no officious mourners near:
Yet Love, if Love in such an hour
In her who lives and him who dies.
T were sweet, my Psyche, to the last
Even Pain itself should smile on thee.
But vain the wish--for Beauty stiil
Will shrink, as shrinks the ebbing breath; And woman's tears, produced at will, Deceive in life, unman in death.
Then lonely be my latest hour,
Without regret, without a groan! For thousands death hath ceased to lour, And pain been transient or unknown.
"Ay, but to die, and go," alas!
Where all have gone, and all must go! To be the nothing that I was
Ere born to life and living woe!
Count o'er the joys thine hours have seen,
dea! quanto minus est cum reliquis versari quam tui meminisse!"
AND thou art dead, as young and fair
As aught of mortal birth;
And form so soft, and charms so rare,
I will not ask where thou liest low,
There flowers or weeds at will may grow,
It is enough for me to prove
Like common earth can rot;
Yet did I love thee to the last
As fervently as thou,
Who didst not change through all the past,
The love where death has set his seal,
Nor falsehood disavow:
And what were worse, thou canst not see Or wrong, or change, or fault in me.
The better days of life were ours;
The worst can be but mine;
The sun that cheers, the storm that lours, Shall never more be thine.
The silence of that dreamless sleep
I envy now too much to weep;
Nor need I to repine
That all those charms have pass'd away,
The flower in ripen'd bloom unmatch'd
Than see it pluck'd to-day;
I know not if I could have borne
Extinguish'd, not decay'd;
As stars that shoot along the sky
As once I wept, if I could weep,
My tears might well be shed, To think I was not near to keep One vigil o'er thy bed;
To gaze, how fondly! on thy face, To fold thee in a faint embrace,
Uphold thy drooping head;
Yet how much less it were to gain,
Returns again to me,
And more thy buried love endears Than aught, except its living years.
IF sometimes in the haunts of men
Oh, pardon that in crowds awhile,
Nor deem that memory less dear,
If not the goblet pass unquaff'd,
It is not drain'd to banish care,
From all her troubled visions free,
For wert thou banish'd from my mind, Where could my vacant bosom turn? And who would then remain behind
To honour thine abandon'd urn? No, no-it is my sorrow's pride
That last dear duty to fulfil; Though all the world forget beside, 'Tis mect that I remember still.
For well I know, that such had been Thy gentle care for him, who now Unmourn'd shall quit this mortal scene, Where none regarded him, but thou: And, oh! I feel in that was given
A blessing never meant for me; Thou wert too like a dream of heaven, For earthly love to merit thee.
March 14th, 1812.
ON A CORNELIAN HEART WHICH WAS
ILL-FATED heart! and can it be
That thou shouldst thus be rent in twain?
Yet precious seems each shatter'd part,
TO A YOUTHFUL FRIEND.
This poem and the following were written some years ago.]
FEW years have pass'd since thou and I
Preserved our feelings long the same.
But now, like me, too well thou know'st
And such the change the heart displays,
If so, it never shall be mine
To mourn the loss of such a heart; The fault was Nature's fault, not thine, Which made thee fickle as thou art.
As rolls the ocean's changing tide,
It boots not that, together bred,
And when we bid adieu to youth,
That world corrupts the noblest soul.
Ah, joyous season! when the mind Dares all things boldly but to lie; When thought, ere spoke, is unconfined, And sparkles in the placid eye.
Not so in man's maturer years,
With fools in kindred vice the same,
We learn at length our faults to blend, And those, and those alone, may claim The prostituted name of friend.
Such is the common lot of man:
Can we then 'scape from folly free? Can we reverse the general plan, Nor be what all in turn must be?
No, for myself, so dark my fate
Through every turn of life hath been; Man and the world I so much hate, I care not when I quit the scene.
But thou, with spirit frail and light,
Wilt shine awhile, and pass away; As glow-worms sparkle through the night But dare not stand the test of day.
Alas! whenever folly calls
Where parasites and princes meet, (For cherish'd first in royal halls,
The welcome vices kindly greet),
Even now thou 'rt nightly seen to add One insect to the fluttering crowd; And still thy trifling heart is glad,
To join the vain and court the proud.
There dost thou glide from fair to fair,
As flies along the gay parterre,
That taint the flowers they scarcely taste.
WELL! thou art happy, and I feel
Thy husband's blest-and 't will impart
I thought my jealous heart would break;
I kiss'd it, and repress'd my sighs,
And they were all to love and me.
Mary, adieu! I must away:
While thou art blest, I'll not repine; Br near thee I can never stay;
My heart would soon again be thine.
I deem'd that time, I deem'd that pride
My heart in all, save hope, the same.
Yet was I calm: I knew the time
My breast would thrill before thy look; But now to tremble were a crime
We met, and not a nerve was shook.
To death even hours like these must rol.; Ah! then repeat those accents never; Or change my life" into "my soul!" Which, like my love, exists for ever.
IMPROMPTU, IN REPLY TO A FRIEND.
WHEN from the heart where Sorrow sits,
And clouds the brow, or fills the eye;
My thoughts their dungeon know too well;
SPOKEN AT THE OPENING OF DRURY-LANE
Ye who beheld, (oh! sight admired and mourn'd,
Shake its red shadow o'er the startled Thames,
Yes-it shall be-the magic of that name
As soars this fane to emulate the last,
Dear are the days which made our annals bright,
Friends of the stage! to whom both players and plays
And made us blush that you forbore to blame;
Thus greeting o'er, the ancient rule obey'd,
Springs from our hearts, and fain would win your own.
Still may we please-long, long may you preside!
TIME! on whose arbitrary wing
The varying hours must flag or fly, Whose tardy winter, fleeting spring, But drag or drive us on to dieHail thou! who on my birth bestow'd
Those boons to all that know thee known;
Yet better I sustain thy load,
For now I bear the weight alone.
I would not one fond heart should share
Thy future ills shall press in vain ;
Retards, but never counts the hour.
That beam hath sunk; and now thou art
Thine efforts shortly shall be shown, When all the vengeance thou canst wreak Must fall upon-a nameless stone!
TRANSLATION OF A ROMAIC LOVE SONG
An! Love was never yet without
The pang, the agony, the doubt,
Which rends my heart with ceaseless sigh,
Without one friend to hear my woe,
I faint, I die beneath the blow.
Birds, yet in freedom, shun the net,
Your hearts shall burn, your hopes expire.
A bird of free and careless wing
Was I, through many a siniling spring;
I burn, and feebly flutter there.
Who ne'er have loved, and loved in vain,
Can neither feel nor pity pain,
In flattering dreams I deem'd thee mine;
My light of life! ah, tell me why
Mine eyes like wintry streams o'erflow:
My curdling blood, my maddening brain,
And still thy heart, without partaking
My wounded soul, my bleeding breast,
That joy is harbinger of woe.