Imágenes de páginas

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;
But if in worlds more blest than this
Thy virtues seek a fitter sphere,
Impart some portion of thy bliss,

To wean me from mine anguish here.
Teach me too early taught by thee!
To bear, forgiving and forgiven:
On earth thy love was such to me,
It fain would form my hope in heaven!


AWAY, away, ye notes of woe!

Be silent, thou once soothing strain,
Or I must flee from hence, for, oh!

I dare not trust those sounds again.
To me they speak of brighter days-
But lull the chords, for now, alas!
I must not think, I may not gaze

On what I am, on what I was.

The voice that made those sounds more sweet
Is hush'd, and all their charms are fled;
And now their softest notes repeat

A dirge, an anthem o'er the dead!
Yes, Thyrza! yes, they breathe of thee,

Beloved dust! since dust thou art;
And all that once was harmony

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;
Yet oft my doubting soul 't will shake:
Even slumber owns its gentle tone,
Till consciousness will vainly wake
To listen, though the dream be flown.

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;
Man was not form'd to live alone:
I'll be that light unmeaning thing

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!
The smile that sorrow fain would wear,
But mocks the woe that lurks beneath,
Like roses o'er a sepulchre.
Though gay companions o'er the bowl
Dispel a while the sense of ill;
Though pleasure fires the maddening soul,
The heart-the heart is lonely still!

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
From pangs that rend my heart in twain,
One last long sigh to love and thee,
Then back to busy life again.
It suits me wel! to mingle now

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
The dreamless sleep that lulls the dead,
Oblivion! may thy languid wing

Wave gently o'er my dying bed!
No band of friends or heirs be there,
To weep or wish the coming blow;
No maiden, with dishevell'd hair,
To feel, or feign, decorous woe.

But silent let me sink to earth,

With no officious mourners near:
I would not mar one hour of mirth,
Nor startle friendship with a fear.

Yet Love, if Love in such an hour
Could nobly check its useless sighs,
Might then exert its latest power

In her who lives and him who dies.

T were sweet, my Psyche, to the last
Thy features still serene to see:
Forgetful of its struggles past,

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,
Count o'er thy days from anguish free,
And know, whatever thou hast been,
"T is something better not to be.


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,
Too soon return'd to earth!
Though Earth received them in her bed,
And o'er the spot the crowd may tread
In carelessness or mirth,
There is an eye which could not brook
A moment on that grave to look.

I will not ask where thou liest low,
Nor gaze upon the spot;

There flowers or weeds at will may grow,
So I behold them not:

It is enough for me to prove
That what I loved, and long must .ove,

Like common earth can rot;
To me there needs no stone to tell,
"T is nothing that I loved so wel.

Yet did I love thee to the last

As fervently as thou,

Who didst not change through all the past,
And canst not alter now.

The love where death has set his seal,
Nor age can chill, nor rival steal,

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,
I might have watch'd through long decay.

The flower in ripen'd bloom unmatch'd
Must fall the earliest prey;
Though by no hand untimely snatch'd,
The leaves must drop away:
And yet it were a greater grief
To watch it withering, leaf by leaf,

Than see it pluck'd to-day;
Since earthly eye but ill can bear
To trace the change to foul from fair.

I know not if I could have borne
To see thy beauties fade;
The night that follow'd such a morn
Had worn a deeper shade:
Thy day without a cloud hath past,
And thou wert lovely to the last;

Extinguish'd, not decay'd;

As stars that shoot along the sky
Shine brightest as they fall from high.

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;
And show that love, however vain,
Nor thou nor I can feel again.

Yet how much less it were to gain,
Though thou hast left me free,
The loveliest things that still remain,
Than thus remember thee!
The all of thine that cannot die
Through dark and dread eternity,

Returns again to me,

And more thy buried love endears Than aught, except its living years.


IF sometimes in the haunts of men
Thine image from my breast may fade,
The lonely hour presents again
The semblance of thy gentle shade⚫
And now that sad and silent hour
Thus much of thee can still restore,
And sorrow unobserved may pour
The plaint she dare not speak before.

Oh, pardon that in crowds awhile,
I waste one thought I owe to thee,
And, self-condemn'd, appear to smile,
Unfaithful to thy memory!

[ocr errors]

Nor deem that memory less dear,
That then I seem not to repine;
I would not fools should overhear
One sigh that should be wholly thine.

If not the goblet pass unquaff'd,

It is not drain'd to banish care,
The cup must hold a deadlier draught
That brings a Lethe for despair.
And could oblivion set my soul

From all her troubled visions free,
I'd dash to earth the sweetest bowl
That drown'd a single thought of thee.

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.



ILL-FATED heart! and can it be

That thou shouldst thus be rent in twain?
Have years of care for thine and thee
Alike been all employ'd in vain ?

Yet precious seems each shatter'd part,
And every fragment dearer grown,
Since he who wears thee feels thou art
A fitter emblem of his own.


This poem and the following were written some years ago.]

FEW years have pass'd since thou and I
Were firmest friends, at least in name,
And childhood's gay sincerity

Preserved our feelings long the same.

But now, like me, too well thou know'st
What trifles oft the heart recall;
And those who once have loved the most
Too soon forget they loved at all.

And such the change the heart displays,
So frail is early friendship's reign,
A month's brief lapse, perhaps a day's,
Will view thy mind estranged again.

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,
So human feelings ebb and flow;
And who would in a breast confide
Where stormy passions ever glow?

It boots not that, together bred,
Our childish days were days of joy;
My spring of life has quickly fled;
Thou, too, hast ceased to be a boy.

And when we bid adieu to youth,
Slaves to the specious world's control,
We sigh a long farewell to truth;

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,
When man himself is but a tool;
When interest sways our hopes and fears,
And all must love or hate by rule.

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,
Still simpering on with eager haste,

As flies along the gay parterre,

That taint the flowers they scarcely taste.

[blocks in formation]

WELL! thou art happy, and I feel
That I should thus be happy too;
For still my heart regards thy weal
Warmly, as it was wont to do.

Thy husband's blest-and 't will impart
Some pangs to view his happier lot:
But let them pass-Oh! how my heart
Would hate him, he loved thee not!
When late I saw thy favourite child,

I thought my jealous heart would break;
But when the unconscious infant smiled,
I kiss'd it, for its mother's sake.

I kiss'd it, and repress'd my sighs,
Its father in its face to see;
But then it had its mother's eyes,

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
Had quench'd at length my boyish flame;
Nor knew, till seated by thy side,

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.

[blocks in formation]

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.


WHEN from the heart where Sorrow sits,
Her dusky shadow mounts too high,
And o'er the changing aspect flits,

And clouds the brow, or fills the eye;
Heed not that gioom, which soon shall sink:

My thoughts their dungeon know too well;
Back to my breast the wanderers shrink
And droop within their silent cell.


IN one dread night our city saw, and sigh'd,
Bow'd to the dust, the Drama's tower of pride:
In one short hour beheld the blazing fane,
Apollo sink, and Shakspeare cease to reign.

Ye who beheld, (oh! sight admired and mourn'd,
Whose radiance mock'd the ruin it adorn'd!)
Through clouds of fire, the massy fragments riven,
Like Israel's pillar, chase the night from heaven;
Saw the long column of revolving flames

Shake its red shadow o'er the startled Thames,
While thousands, throng'd around the burning dome.
Shrank back appall'd, and trembled for their home,
As glared the volumed blaze, and ghastly shone
The skies with lightnings awful as their own,
Till blackening ashes and the lonely wall
Usurp'd the Muse's realm, and mark'd her fall;
Say-shall this new, nor less aspiring pile,
Rear'd where once rose the mightiest in our isle,
Know the same favour which the former knew,
A shrine for Shakspeare-worthy him and you?

Yes-it shall be-the magic of that name
Defies the scythe of time, the torch of flame;
On the same spot still consecrates the scene,
And bids the Drama be where she hath been:
This fabric's birth attests the potent spell-
Indulge our honest pride, and say, How well!

As soars this fane to emulate the last,
Oh! might we draw our omens from the past,
Some hour propitious to our prayers may boast
Names such as hallow still the dome we lost.
On Drury first your Siddons' thrilling art
O'erwhelm'd the gentlest, storm'd the sternest heart.
On Drury, Garrick's latest laurels grew;
Here your last tears retiring Roscius drew,
Sigh'd his last thanks, and wept his last adieu
But still for living wit the wreaths may bloom
That only waste their odours o'er the tomb.
Such Drury claim'd and claims-nor you refuse
One tribute to vive his slumbering muse;
With garlands deck your own Menander's head!
Nor hoard your honours idly for the dead!

Dear are the days which made our annals bright,
Ere Garrick fled, or Brinsley ceased to write.
Heirs to their labours, like all high-born heirs,
Vain of our ancestry, as they of theirs;
While thus remembrance borrows Banquo's glass,
To claim the sceptred shadows as they pass,
And we the mirror hold, where imaged shine
Immortal names, emblazon'd on our line,
Pause-ere their feebler offspring you condemn,
Reflect how hard the task to rival them!

Friends of the stage! to whom both players and plays
Must sue alike for pardon or for praise,
Whose judging voice and eye alone direct
The boundless power to cherish or reject;
If e'er frivolity has led to fame,

And made us blush that you forbore to blame;
If e'er the sinking stage could condescend
To soothe the sickly taste it dare not mend,
All past reproach may present scenes refute,
And censure, wisely loud, be justly mute!
Oh! since your fiat stamps the drama's laws,
Forbear to mock us with misplaced applause;
So pride shall doubly nerve the actor's powers,
And reason's voice be echo'd back by ours!

Thus greeting o'er, the ancient rule obey'd,
The Drama's homage by her herald paid,
Receive our welcome too, whose every tone

Springs from our hearts, and fain would win your own.
The curtain rises-may our stage unfold
Scenes not unworthy Drury's days of old!
Britons our judges, Nature for our guide,

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
The bitter moments thou hast given;
And pardon thee, since thou couldst spare,
All that I loved, to peace or heaven.
To them be joy or rest, on me

Thy future ills shall press in vain ;
I nothing owe but years to thee,
A debt already paid in pain.
Yet e'en that pain was some relief;
It felt, but stiil forgot thy power:
The active agony of grief

Retards, but never counts the hour.
In joy I've sigh'd to think thy flight
Would soon subside from swift to slow;
Thy cloud could overcast the light,
But could not add a night to woe;
For then, however drear and dark,
My soul was suited to thy sky;
One star alone shot forth a spark
To prove thee--not Eternity.

That beam hath sunk; and now thou art
A blank; a thing to count and curse
Through each dull, tedious trifling part,
Which all regret, yet all rehearse.
One scene even thou canst not deform;
The limit of thy sloth or speed,
When future wanderers bear the storm
Which we shall sleep too sound to heed:
And I can smile to think how weak

Thine efforts shortly shall be shown, When all the vengeance thou canst wreak Must fall upon-a nameless stone!


An! Love was never yet without

The pang, the agony, the doubt,

Which rends my heart with ceaseless sigh,
While day and night roll darkling by.

Without one friend to hear my woe,

I faint, I die beneath the blow.
That Love had arrows, well I knew:
Alas! I find them poison'd too.

Birds, yet in freedom, shun the net,
Which Love around your haunts hath se
Or, circled by his fatal fire,

Your hearts shall burn, your hopes expire.

A bird of free and careless wing

Was I, through many a siniling spring;
But caught within the subtle snare,

I burn, and feebly flutter there.

Who ne'er have loved, and loved in vain,

Can neither feel nor pity pain,
The cold repulse, the look askance,
The lightning of love's angry glance.

In flattering dreams I deem'd thee mine;
Now hope, and he who hoped, decline;
Like melting wax, or withering flower,
I feel my passion, and thy power.

My light of life! ah, tell me why
That pouting lip, and alter'd eye?
My bird of love! my beauteous mate!
And art thou changed, and canst thou hate?

Mine eyes like wintry streams o'erflow:
What wretch with me would barter woe?
My bird! relent: one note could give
A charm, to bid thy lover live.

My curdling blood, my maddening brain,
In silent anguish I sustam!

And still thy heart, without partaking
One pang, exults-while mine is breaking-
Pour me the poison; fear not thou!
Thou canst not murder more than now:
I've lived to curse my natal day,
And love, that thus can lingering slay.

My wounded soul, my bleeding breast,
Can patience preach thee into rest?
Alas! too late I dearly know,

That joy is harbinger of woe.

« AnteriorContinuar »