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By guilt and sorrow, and the opening morn
Woke her from quiet sleep to days of peace.
In other occupation then I trod
The beach at eve; and then when I beheld
The billows as they roll'd before the storm
Burst on the rock and rage, my timid soul
Shrunk at the perils of the boundless deep,
And heaved a sigh for suffering mariners.
Ah! little thinking I myself was doom'd
To tempt the perils of the boundless deep,
An Outcast, unbeloved and unbewail'd.
Still wilt thou haunt me, Memory! still present The fields of England to my exiled eyes, The joys which once were mine! Even now I see The lowly lovely dwelling! even now Behold the woodbine clasping its white walls, Where fearlessly the red-breasts chirp around To ask their morning meal; and where at eve I loved to sit and watch the rook sail by, And hear his hollow tones, what time he sought The church-yard elm, that with its ancient boughs Full-foliaged half conceal'd the house of God; That holy house, where I so oft have heard My father's voice explain the wondrous works Of heaven to sinful man. Ah! little deem'd His virtuous bosom, that his shameless child So soon should spurn the lesson' sink, the slave Of Vice and Infamy! the hirelin; prey Of brutal appetite at length worn out With famine, and the avenging scourge of guilt, Should share dishonesty—Yet dread to die!
Welcome, ye savage lands, ye barbarous climes, Where angry England sends her outcast sons, I hail your joyless shores My weary bark, Long tempest-tost on Life's inclement sea, Here hails her haven welcomes the drear scene, The marshy plain, the briar-entangled wood, And all the perils of a world unknown. For Elinor has nothing now to fear From fickle Fortune! All her rankling shafts, Barb'd with disgrace, and venom'd with disease, Have pierced my bosom, and the dart of death Has lost its terrors to a wretch like me.
Welcome, ye marshy heaths! ye pathless woods, Where the rude native rests his wearied frame Beneath the sheltering shade: where, when the storm, As rough and bleak it rolls along the sky, Benumbs his naked limbs, he flies to seek The dripping shelter. Welcome, ye wild plains Unbroken by the plough, undelved by hand Of patient rustic; where for lowing herds, And for the music of the bleating flocks, Alone is heard the kangaroo's sad note Deepening in distance. Welcome, ye rude climes, The realm of Nature; for, as yet unknown The crimes and comforts of luxurious life, Nature benignly gives to all enough, Denies to all a superfluity. What though the garb of infamy I wear, Though day by day along the echoing beach I cull the wave-worn shells; yet day by day I earn in honesty my frugal food, And lay me down at night to calm repose,
No more condemn'd the mercenary tool
Of brutal lust, while heaves the indignant heart
With Virtue's stilled sigli, to fold my arms
Round the rank felon, and for daily bread
To hug contagion to my poison'd breast;
On these wild shores the saving hand of Grace
Shall probe my secret soul; shall cleanse its wounds,
And fit the faithful penitent for Heaven.
huMPhREY AND WILLIAM. Time, Noon.
rl U M phrey. SEEst thou not, William, that the scorching Sun By this time half his daily race has run? The savage thrusts his light canoe to shore, And hurries homeward with his fishy store. Suppose we leave awhile this stubborn soil, To eat our dinner and to rest from toil! will. Li AM. Agreed. Yon tree, whose purple gum bestows A ready medicine for the sick man's woes, Forms with its shadowy boughs a cool retreat To shield us from the noontide's sultry heat. Ah, Ilumphrey! now upon old England's shore The weary labourer's morning work is o'er: The woodman there rests from his measured stroke, Flings down his axe, and sits beneath the oak ; Savour'd with hunger there he eats his food, There drinks the cooling streamlet of the wood. To us no cooling streamlet winds its way, No joys domestic crown for us the day; The felon's name, the outcast's garb we wear, Toil all the day, and all the night despair. Humphtley. Aye, william labouring up the furrow'd ground, I used to love the village clock's dull sound, Rejoice to hear my morning toil was done, And trudge it homewards when the clock went one. 'T was ere I turn’d a soldier and a sinner! Pshaw! curse this whining—let us fall to dinner. Wii. LIAM. I too have loved this hour, nor yet forgot Each joy domestic of my little cot. For at this hour my wife with watchful care Was wont her humble dainties to prepare; The keenest sauce by hunger was supplied, And my poor children prattled at my side. Methinks I see the old oak table spread, The clean white trencher and the good brown bread, The cheese my daily food which Mary made, For Mary knew full well the housewife's trade: The jug of cider, cider I could make— And then the knives, I won 'em at the wake. Another has them now ! I toiling here Look backward like a child, and drop a tear. Ilu M. pn a cy. I love a dismal story: tell me thine, Meantime, good Will, I'll listen as I dine. I too, my friend, can tell a piteous story, When I turn'd hero, how I purchased glory.
will. I AM. But, Humphrey, sure thou never canst have known The comforts of a little home thine own: A home so snug, so cheerful too, as mine— 'T was always clean, and we could make it fine; For there King Charles's Golden Rules were seen, And there—God bless 'em both—the King and Queen. The pewter plates, our garnish'd chimney's grace, So bright that in them you might see your face; And over all, to frighten thieves, was hung, Well clean'd, although but seldom used, my gun. Ah! that damn'd gun I took it down one morn,A desperate deal of harm they did my corn Our testy Squire too lov'd to save the breed, So covey upon covey ate my seed. I marked the mischievous rogues, and took my aim; I fired, they fell, and—up the keeper came. That cursed morning brought on my undoing; I went to prison, and my farm to ruin. Poor Mary! for her grave the parish paid, No tomb-stone tells where her poor corpse is laid! My Children—my poor boys— II UM pil to EY. Come!—Grief is dry.— You to your dinner—to my story I. To you my friend who happier days have known, And each calm comfort of a home your own, This is bad living : I have spent my life In hardest soil and unavailing strife, And here (from forest ambush safe at least) To me this scanty pittance seems a feast. I was a plough-boy once; as free from woes And blithesome as the lark with whom I rose. Each evening at return a meal I found; And, though my bed was hard, my sleep was sound. One Whitsuntide, to go to Fair, I drest Like a great bumpkin in my Sunday's best; A primrose posey in my hat I stuck, And to the revel went to try my luck. From show to show, from booth to booth I stray, See, stare, and wonder all the live-long day, A Sergeant to the fair recruiting came, Skilled in man-catching, to beat up for game; Our booth he enter'd and sat down by me;— Methinks even now the very scene I see! The canvas roof, the hogshead's running store, The old blind fiddler seated next the door, The frothy tankard passing to and fro, And the rude rabble round the puppet-show. The Sergeant eved me well; the punch-bowl comes, And as we laugh'd and drank, up struck the drums. And now he rives a bumper to his wench, God save the King, and then, God damn the French Then tells the story of his last campaign, Ilow many wounded and how many slain, Flags flying, cannons roaring, drums a-beating, The English marching on, the French retreating.— * Push on—push on, my lads! they fly before ye, March on to riches, happiness, and glory', At first I wonderd, by degrees grew holder, Then cried, “ T is a fine thing to be a soldier'." “Aye, Humphrey !» says the Sergeant, a that's your nanne? 'T is a fine thing to fight the French for fame! March to the field,—knock out a Mounseer's brains, And pick the scoundrel's pocket for your pains.
Come, Humphrey, come! thou art a lad of spirit;
Rise to a halbert, as I did, by merit!
Wouldst thou believe it? even I was once
As thou art now, a plough-boy and a dunce;
But courage raised me to my rank. How now, boy!
Shall Hero Humphrey still be Numps the plough-boy?
A proper-shaped young fellow' tall and straight!
Why, thou wert made for glory!—five feet eight!
The road to riches is the field of fight!
Didst ever see a guinea look so bright?
Why, regimentals, Numps, would give thee grace,
A hat and feather would become that face:
The girls would crowd around thee to be kist!
Dost love a girl?»–40d Zounds!» I cried, “I’ll list's
So pass'd the might: anon the morning came,
And off I set a volunteer for fame.
a Back shoulders, turn out your toes, hold up your head,
Stand easy!» so I did—till almost dead.
O how I long'd to tend the plough again,
Trudge up the field, and whistle o'er the plain,
When tired and sore amid the piteous throng
Hungry and cold and wet I limp'd along,
And growing fainter as I pass'd and colder,
Cursed that ill hour when I became a soldier!
In town I found the hours more gaily pass,
And time fled swiftly with my girl and glass;
The girls were wondrous kind and wond rous fair,
They soon transferr'd me to the Doctor's care;
The Doctor undertook to cure the evil,
And he almost transferr'd me to the Devil.
'T were tedious to relate the dismal story
Of fighting, fasting, wretchedness, and glory.
At last discharged, to England's shores I came,
Paid for my wounds with want instead of fame;
Found my fair friends, and plunder'd as they bade me
They kist me, coax'd me, robb'd me, and betray'd me.
Tried and condemn d His Majesty transports me,
And here in peace, I thank him, he supports me.
So ends my dismal and heroic story,
And Ilumphrey gets more good from guilt than glory.
JOHN, SAMUEL, AND RICHARD.
'T is a calm pleasant evening, the light fades away,
And the sun going down has done watch for the day.
To my mind we live wonderous well when transported;
It is but to work, and we must be supported.
Fill the cann, Dick | Success here to Botany-Bay!
to leth Ard.
Success if you will,—but God send me away !
You lubberly landsmen don't know when you're well!
Hadst thou known half the hardships of which I can tell!
The sailor has no place of safety in store;
From the tempest at sea, to the press-gang on shore:
When Roguery rules all the rest of the carth,
God be thank'd in this corner I've got a good birth.
... so MUEL.
Talk of hardships! what these are the sailor don't know;
'T is the soldier, my friend, that's acquainted with wee:
Long journeys, short halting, hard work and small pay. .
To be popt at like pigeons for sixpence a day!—
Thank God I'm safe quarter'd at Botany-Bay.
Ah! you know but little : I'll wager a pot
I have suffer'd more evils than fell to your lot.
Come, we'll have it all fairly and properly tried,
Tell story for story, and Dick shall decide.
Done. T is a wager, and I shall be winner;
Thou wilt go without grog, Sam, to-morrow at dinner.
SAMU e L.
I was trapp'd by the Sergeant's palavring pretences,
Ile listed me when I was out of my senses.
So I took leave to-day of all care and all sorrow,
And was drill'd to repentance and reason to-morrow.
I would be a sailor and plough the wide ocean,
But was soon sick and sad with the billows commotion,
So the Captain he sent me aloft on the mast,
And cursed me, and bade me cry there, and hold fast!
SAM to El..
After marching all day, faint and hungry and sore,
I have lain down at night on the swamps of the moor,
Unshelter'd and forced by fatigue to remain,
All chill'd by the wind and benumb'd by the rain.
I have rode out the storm when the billows beat high,
And the red gleaming lightnings flash'd through the
When the tempest of night the black sea overcast,
Wet and weary I labour’d, yet sung to the blast.
I have march'd, trumpets sounding, drums beating,
Where the music of war drown'd the shrieks of the
When the shots whizz'd around me all dangers defied,
Push'd on when my comrades fell dead at my side;
Drove the foe from the mouth of the cannon away,
Fought, conquerd, and bled,—all for sixpence a day.
And I too, friend Samuel! have heard the shots rattle!
But we seamen rejoice in the play of the battle;
Though the chain and the grape-shot roll splintering
With the blood of our messmates though slippery the
The fiercer the fight, still the fiercer we grow,
We heed not our loss so we conquer the foe;
And the hard battle won, if the prize be not sunk,
The Captain gets rich, and the Sailors get drunk.
God help the poor soldier when backward he goes
In disgraceful retreat through a country of foes!
No respite from danger by day or by night,
He is still forced to fly, still o'ertaken to fight;
Every step that he takes he must battle his way,
He must force his hard meal from the peasant away;
No rest, and no hope, from all succour afar,
God forgive the poor soldier for going to the war!
But what are these dangers to those I have past
When the dark billows roar'd to the roar of the blast!
When we work'd at the pumps worn with labour and
And with dread still beheld the increase of the leak?
Sometimes as we rose on the wave couid our sight
From the rocks of the shore catch the light-house's
In vain to the beach to assist us they press,
We fire faster and faster our guns of distress;
Still with rage unabating the wind and waves roar;
Ilow the giddy wreck reels, as the billows burst o'er!
Leap, leap; for she yawns, for she sinks in the wave!
Call on God to preserve—for God only can save!
There 's an end of all troubles, however, at last!
And when I in the waggon of wounded was cast,
When my wounds with the chilly night-wind smarted
And I thought of the friends I should never see more,
No hand to relieve, scarce a morsel of bread,
Sick at heart, I have envied the peace of the dead!
Left to lot in a jail till by treaty set free,
Old England's white cliffs with what joy did I see!
I had gain'd enough glory, some wounds, but no good,
And was turn'd on the public to shift how I could.
When I think what I've suffer'd, and where I am now,
I curse him who snared me away from the plough.
When I was discharged I went home to my wife,
There in comfort to spend all the rest of my life.
My wife was industrious, we earn'd what we spent,
And though little we had, were with little content;
And whenever I listen’d and heard the wind roar,
I bless'd God for my little snug cabin on shore.
At midnight they seized me, they dragg'd me away,
They wounded me sore when I would not obey,
And because for my country I'd ventured my life,
I was drago'd like a thief from my home and my wife.
Then the fair wind of fortune chopt round in my face,
And Want at length drove me to guilt and distrace.
3ut all 's for the best;-on the world's wide sea cast,
I am haven'd in peace in this corner at last.
Come, Dick! we have done—and for judgment we call.
Rich. A to d.
And in faith I can give you no judgment at all:
But that as you 're now settled, and safe from foul
You drink up your grog, and be merry together.
So lovely in existence? wouldst thou drain
Even to its dregs the bitter draught of life?
Stamp'd with the brand of Vice and Infamy,
why should the felon Frederic shrink from Death?
Death! Where the magic in that empty name
That chills my inmost heart? why at the thought
Starts the cold dew of fear on every limb?
There are no terrors to surround the Gravc,
When the calm Mind collected in itself
Surveys that narrow house: the ghastly train
That haunt the midnight of delirious Guilt
Then vanish; in that home of endless rest
All sorrows cease!—Would I might slumber there!
Why then this panting of the fearful heart?
This miser love of life, that dreads to lose
Its cherish'd torment? Shall the man diseased
Yield up his members to the surgeon's knife,
Doubtful of succour, but to rid his frame
Of fleshly anguish; and the coward wretch,
Whose ulcerated soul can know no help,
Shrink from the best Physician's certain aid?
Oh, it were better far to lie me down
Here on this cold damp earth, till some wild beast
Seize on his willing victims
If to die
Were all, 't were sweet indeed to rest my head
On the cold clod, and sleep the sleep of Death.
But if the Archangel's trump at the last hour .
Startle the ear of Death, and wake the soul
To frenzy?–Dreams of infancy; fit tales
For garrulous beldames to affrighten babes!
What if I warr'd upon the world the world
Had wrong'd me first : I had endur'd the ills
Of hard injustice; all this goodly earth
Was but to me one wide waste wilderness;
I had no share in nature's patrimony;
Blasted were all my morning hopes of youth,
Dark DisappointMeNt followed on my ways,
Cane was my bosom inmate, and keen WAN'r
Gnawed at my heart. Ereanal ONE, thou knowest
Ilow that poor heart even in the bitter hour
Of lewdest revelry has inly yearn'd
My FAthen ' I will call on thee,
Pour to thy mercy-seat my earnest prayer,
And wait thy righteous will, resign'd of soul.
O thoughts of comfort! how the afflicted heart,
Tired with the tempest of its passions, rests
On you with holy hope! The hollow howl
Of yonder harmless tenant of the woods
Comes with no terror to the sober'd sense.
If I have sinn'd against mankind, on them
Be that past sin; they made me what I was.
In these extremest climes can Want no more
Urge to the deeds of darkness, and at length
Here shall I rest. What though my hut be poor—
The rains descend not through its humble roof:—
Would I were there again! The night is cold;
And what if in my wanderings I should rouse
The savage from his thicket!
Hark! the gun:
And lo, the fire of safety! I shall reach
My little hut again again by toil
Force from the stubborn earth my sustenance,
And quick-ear'd guilt will never start alarm'd
Amid the well-earn'd meal. This felon's garb—
Will it not shield me from the winds of Heaven?
And what could purple more? O strengthen me,
Eternal One, in this serener state'
Cleanse thou mine heart, so PENitence and FAITH
Shall heal my soul, and my last days be peace.
Go, Valentine, and tell that lovely, maid
Whom fancy still will portray to my sight,
How here I singer in this sullen shade,
This dreary gloom of dull monastic night.
Say, that from every joy of life remote
At evening's closing hour I quit the throng,
Listening in solitude the ring-dove's note,
Who pours like me her solitary song.
Say, that her absence calls the sorrowing sigh;
Say, that of all her charms I love to speak,
In fancy feel the magic of her eye,
In fancy view the smile illume her check,
Court the lone hour when silence stills the grove,
And heave the sigh of Memory and of Love.
Think, Valentine, as speeding on thy way Homeward thou hastest light of heart along, If heavily creep on one little day The medley crew of travellers among, Think on thine abscnt friend : reflect that here On life's sad journey comfortless he roves, Remote from every scene his heart holds dear, From him he values, and from her he loves. And when, disgusted with the vain and dull Whom chance companions of thy way may doom, Thy mind, of each domestic comfort full, Turns to itself and meditates on home, Ah think what cares must ache within his breast Who loathes the road, yet sees no home of rest! 1794.
Not to thee, Bedford, mournful is the tale Of days departed. Time in his career Arraigns not thee that the neglected year Hath past unheeded onward. To the vale Of years thoujourneyest; may the future road Be pleasant as the past! and on my friend Friendship and Love, best blessings! still attend, Till full of days he reach the calm abode Where Nature slumbers. Lovely is the age Of Virtue: with such reverence we behold The silver hairs, as some grey oak grown old That whilom mock'd the rushing tempest's rage, Now like the monument of strength decay’d. With rarely-sprinkled leaves casting a trembling shade. 1794.
As thus I stand beside the murmuring stream And watch its current, Memory here portrays Scenes faintly form'd of half-forgotten days,
Like far-off woodlauds by the moon's bright beam
Dimly descried, but lovely. I have worn
Amid these haunts the heavy hours away,
When Childhood idled through the Sabbath-day;
Risen to my tasks at winter's earliest morn;
And when the twilight slowly darken'd, here,
Thinking of home, and all of heart forlorn,
Have sigh’d and shed in silence many a tear.
Dream-like and indistinct those days appear,
As the faint sounds of this low brooklet borne
Upon the breeze, reach sitfully the ear."
Mild arch of promise! on the evening sky
Thou shinest fair with many a lovely ray
Each in the other melting. Much mine eye
Delights to linger on thee; for the day,
Changeful and many-weather'd, seem d to smile
Flashing brief splendour through the clouds awhile,
Which deepen'd dark anon and fell in rain:
But pleasant is it now to pause, and view
Thy various tints of frail and watery hue,
And think the storm shall not return again.
Such is the smile that Piety bestows
On the good man's pale cheek, when he, in peace
Departing gently from a world of woes,
Anticipates the realm where sorrows cease.
With many a weary step, at length I gain
Thy summit, Lansdown; and the cool breeze plays
Gratefully round my brow, as hence I gaze
Back on the fair expanse of yonder plain.
'T was a long way and tedious! To the eye
Though fair the extended vale, and fair to view
The autumnal leaves of many a faded hue,
That eddy in the wild gust moaning by.
Even so it fared with life! in discontent
Restless through Fortune's mingled scenes I went—
Yet wept to think they would return no more!
But cease, fond heart, in such sad thoughts to roam;
For surely thou ere long shalt reach thy home,
And pleasant is the way that lies before.
As thus I bend me o'er thy babbling stream And watch thy current, Memory's hand portrays The faint form'd scenes of the departed days, Like the far forest by the moon's pale beam Dimly descried yet lovely. I have worn Upon thy banks the live-long hour awa When sportive childhood wantoned through the day, Joy'd at the opening splendour of the morn, or as the twilight darken'd, heaveu the sigh Thinking of distant home; as down my cheek At the fond thought slow stealing on, would speak The silent eloquence of the full eye. Dim are the long past days, yet still they please As thy soft sounds half beard, Lorue on the inconstant breeze.
FAIR is the rising morn when o'er the sky
The orient sun expands his roseate ray,
And lovely to the bard's enthusiast eye
Fades the soft radiance of departing day;
But fairer is the smile of one we love
Than all the scenes in Nature's ample sway,
And sweeter than the music of the grove,
The voice that bids us welcome. Such delight,
Edith ! is mine, escaping to thy sight
From the hard durance of the empty throng.
Too swiftly then towards the silent night,
Ye hours of happiness! ye speed along;
Whilst I, from all the World's cold cares apart,
Pour out the feelings of my burthend heart.
How darkly oeryon far-off mountain frowns
The gather'd tempests from that lurid cloud
The deep-voiced thunders roll, awful and loud
Though distant; while upon the misty downs
Fast falls in shadowy streaks the pelting rain.
I never saw so terrible a storm
Perhaps some way-worn traveller in vain
Wraps his torn rainent round his shivering form,
Cold even as Ilope within him! I the while
Pause me in sadness, though the sun-beans smile
Cheerily round me. All that thus my lot
Might be with Peace and Solitude assigned,
Where I might from some little quiet cot
Sigh for the crimes and miseries of mankind!
O thou sweet Lark, that in the heaven so high
Twinkling thy wings dost sing so joyfully,
I watch thee soaring with uo mean delight;
And when at last I turn mine aching eye
That lags, how far below that lofty flight,
Still silently receive thy melody.
O thou sweet Lark, that I had wings like thcc
Not for the joy it were in yon blue light
Upward to plunge, and from my heavenly height
Gaze on the creeping multitude below,
But that I soon would wing my eager flight
To that loved home where Fancy even now -
Hath fled, and Hope looks onward through a tear,
Counting the weary hours that keep her here.
Thou lingerest, Spring still wintry is the scene,
The fields their dead and sapless russet wear;
Scarce does the glossy celandine appear
Starring the sunny bank, or early green
The elder yet its circling tufts put forth.
The sparrow tenants still the eaves-built nest
Where we should see our martin's snowy breast
Oft dartint; out. The blasts from the bleak north
And from the keener east still frequent blow.
Sweet Spring, thou lingerest! and it should be so-
Late let the fields and tardens blossom out!
Like man when most with smiles thy face is drest,
'T is to deceive, and he who knows ye best,
When most ye promise, ever most must doubt.