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Make mournful emblems, and you think of man
Doom'd to the grave's long winter, spirit-broken,
Bending beneath the burthen of his years,
Sense-dull'd and fretful, a full of aches and pains,”
Yet clinging still to life. To me they show
The calm decay of nature when the mind
Retains its strength, and in the languid eye
Religion's holy hopes kindle a joy
That makes old age look lovely. All to you
Is dark and cheerless; you in this fair world
See some destroying principle abroad,
Air, earth, and water full of living things,
Each on the other preying; and the ways
Of man, a strange perplexing labyrinth,
Where crimes and miseries, each producing each,
Render life loathsome, and destroy the hope
That should in death bring comfort. Oh, my friend,
That thy faith were as mine! that thou couldst see
Death still producing life, and evil still
Working its own destruction; couldst behold
The strifes and troubles of this troubled world
With the strong eye that sees the promised day
Dawn through this night of tempest! All things then
Would minister to joy; then should thine heart
Be heal’d and harmonized, and thou wouldst feel
God, always, every where, and all in all.
HARR,-how the church-bells thundering harmony
Stuns the glad ear! tidings of joy have come,
Good tidings of great joy! two gallant ships
Met on the element, they met, they fought
A desperate fight!—good tidings of great joy"
Old England triumph'd; yet another day
Of glory for the ruler of the waves' -
For those who fell, 't was in their country's cause,
They have their passing paragraphs of praise,
And are forgotten.
There was one who died
In that day's glory, whose obscurer name
No proud historian's page will chronicle.
Peace to his honest soul! I read his name,
'T was in the list of slaughter, and blest God
The sound was not familiar to mine ear.
But it was told me after that this man
Was one whom lawful violence 1 had forced
From his own home and wife and little ones,
Who by his labour lived; that he was one
Whose uncorrupted heart could keenly feel
A husband's love, a father's anxiousness;
That from the wages of his toil he fed
The distant dear ones, and would talk of them
At midnight when he trod the silent deck
With him he valued,—talk of them, of joys
Which he had known,-oh God! and of the hour
When they should meet again, till his full heart,
His manly heart, at last would overflow,
Even like a child's with very tenderness.
Peace to his honest spirit! suddenly
It came, and merciful the ball of death,
For it came suddenly and shattered him,
And left no moment's agonizing thought
'The person alluded to was pressed into the service.
On those he loved so well.
He ocean-deep Now lies at rest. Be Thou her comforter Who art the widow's friend! Man does not know What a cold sickness made her blood run back When first she heard the tidings of the fight; Man does not know with what a dreadful hope She listened to the names of those who died; Man does not know, or knowing will not heed, With what an agony of tenderness She gazed upon her children, and beheld His image who was gone. O God! be Thou, Who art the widow's friend, her comforter!
Thou chronicle of crimes' I read no more;
For I am one who willingly would love
His fellow-kind, 0 gentle Poesy,
Receive me from the court's polluted scenes,
From dungeon horrors, from the fields of war,
Receive me to your haunts, that I may nurse
My nature's better feelings, for my soul
Sickens at man's misdeeds !
I spake, when lo!
There stood before me, in her majesty,
Clio, the strong-eyed Muse. Upon her brow
Sate a calm anger. Go, young man, she cried,
Sigh among myrtle bowers, and let thy soul
Effuse itself in strains so sorrow ful sweet, o
That love-sick Maids may weep upon thy page,
Pleased with delicious sorrow. Oh shame! shame!
Was it for this I waken'd thy young mind?
Was it for this I made thy swelling heart
Throb at the deeds of Greece, and thy boy's eye
So kindle when that glorious Spartan died ?
Boy! boy! deceive me not!—What if the tale
Of murder'd millions strike a chilling pang;
What if Tiberius in his island stews,
And Philip at his beads, alike inspire
Strong anger and contempt: hast thou not risen
With nobler feelings, with a deeper love
For Freedom Yes, if righteously thy soul
Loathes the black history of human crimes
And human misery, let that spirit fill
Thy song, and it shall teach thee, boy! to raise
Strains such as Cato might have deign'd to hear,
As Sidney in his hall of bliss may love.
This universal language, to the heart
Speak instant, and on all these various minds
Compel one feeling.
But such better thoughts
Will pass away how soon! and these who here
Are following their dead comrade to the grave,
Ere the night fall will in their revelry
Quench all remembrance. From the ties of life
Unnaturally rent, a man who knew
No resting-place, no dear delights of home,
Belike who never saw his children's face,
Whose children knew no father; he is gone,—
Dropt from existence, like a blasted leaf
That from the summer tree is swept away,
Its loss unseen. She hears not of his death
Who bore him, and already for her son
Her tears of bitterness are shed: when first
He had put on the livery of blood,
She wept him dead to her.
We are indeed
Clay in the potter's hand! one favour'd mind,
Scarce lower than the Angels, shall explore
The ways of Nature, whilst his fellow-man,
Framed with like miracle, the work of God,
Must as the unreasonable beast drag on
A life of labour; like this soldier here,
His wondrous faculties bestow'd in vain,
Be moulded by his fate till he becomes
A mere machine of murder.
And there are
Who say that this is well! as God has made
All things for man's good pleasure, so of men
The many for the few Court-moralists,
Reverend lip-comforters, that once a-week
Proclaim how blessed are the poor, for they
Shall have their wealth hereafter, and though now
Toiling and troubled, though they pick the crumbs
That from the rich man's table fall, at length
In Abraham's bosom rest with Lazarus;
Themselves meantime secure their good things here,
And feast with Dives. These are they, O Lord!
Who in thy plain and simple Gospel see
All mysteries, but who find no peace enjoin'd,
No brotherhood, no wrath denounced on them
who shed their brethren's blood, blind at noon-day
As owls, lynx-eyed in darkness!
O my God!
I thank thee, with no Pharisaic pride
I thank thee, that I am not such as these;
I thank thee for the eye that sees, the heart
That feels, the voice that in these evil days,
Amid these evil tongues, exalts itself,
And cries aloud against iniquity.
SAPPHO. Scene, The Promontory of Leucadia.
This is the spot:—t is here Tradition says
That hopeless Love from this high towering rock
Leaps headlong to Oblivion or to Death.
Oh,'t is a giddy height! my dizzy head
Swims at the precipice'—t is death to fall!
Lie still, thou coward heart! this is no time
To shake with thy strong throbs the frame convulsed.
To die, -to be at rest,-oh, pleasant thought!
Perchance to leap and live; the soul all still,
And the wild tempest of the passions hush'd
In one deep calm ; the heart, no more diseased
By the quick ague fits of hope and fear,
Presiding Powers, look down!
In vain to you I pour'd my earnest prayers,
In vain I sung your praises: chiefly thou,
Vexus! ungrateful Goddess, whom my lyre
Hymn'd with such full devotion! Lesbian groves,
Witness how often, at the languid hour
Of Summer twilight, to the melting song
Ye gave your choral echoes! Grecian maids,
Who hear with downcast look and flushing cheek,
That lay of love, bear witness! and ye youths,
Who hang enraptured on the impassion'd strain,
Gazing with eloquent eye, even till the heart
Sinks in the deep delirium ! and ye, too,
Ages unborn bear witness ye, how hard
Her fate who hymnd the votive hymn in vain!
Ungrateful Goddess! I have hung my lute
In yonder holy pile: my hand no more
Shall wake the melodies that fail'd to move
The heart of Phaon!—yet when Rumour tells
How from Leucadia Sappho cast herself,
A self-devoted victim, he may melt
Too late in pity, obstinate to love.
O haunt his midnight dreams, black NEMEsis'
Whom, self-conceiving in the inmost depths
Of Chaos, blackest Night long labouring bore,
When the stern Desri Nies, her elder brood,
And shapeless DEATH, from that more monstrous birth
Leapt shuddering haunt his slumbers, Nemesis!
Scorch with the fires of Phlegethon his heart,
Till helpless, hopeless, heaven-abandon'd wretch,
He too shall seek beneath the unfathom'd deep
To hide him from thy fury.
How the sea
Far distant glitters as the sun-beams smile,
And taily wanton o'er its heaving breast !
Phoebus shines forth, nor wears one cloud to mourn
His votary's sorrows! God of Day shine on!—
By Men despised, forsaken by the Gods,
I supplicate no more.
How many a day,
O pleasant Lesbos! in thy secret streams
Delighted have I plunged, from the hot sun
Screen'd by the o'er-arching grove's delightful shade,
And pillow'd on the waters! Now the waves
Shall chill me to repose.
- Tremendous height!
Scarce to the brink will these rebellious limbs
Support me. Hark! how the rude deep below
Roars round the rugged base, as if it called
Its long reluctant victim I will come!—
One leap, and all is over! The deep rest
Of Death, or tranquil Apathy's dead calm,
Welcome alike to me. Away, vain fears!
Phaon is cold, and why should Sappho live?
Phaon is cold, or with some fairer one—
Thought worse than death!
[She throws herself from the precipice.
Scene, The Temple of Meritli.
Subjects friends' children! I may call you children, For I have ever borne a father's love Towards you; it is thirteen years since first You saw me in the robes of royalty,+ Since here the multitudes of Mexico Hail'd me their King. I thank you, friends, that now In equal numbers and with equal love, You come to grace my death. For thirteen years What I have been, ye know: that with all care, That with all justness and all gentleness, Seeking your weal, I govern'd. Is there one Whom I have injured 2 one whose just redress I have denied, or baffled by delay? Let him come forth, that so no evil tongue Speak shame of me hereafter. O my people, Not by my sins have I drawn down upon me The wrath of Heaven. The wrath is heavy on me! Heavy; a burthen more than I can bear, I have endured contempt, insult, and wrongs, From that Acolhuan tyrant; should I seek Revenge? alas, my people, we are few, Feeble our growing state, it hath not yet Rooted itself to bear the hurricane; It is the lion-cub that tempts not yet The tiger's full-aged fury. Mexicans, He sent to bid me wear a woman's robe;— When was the day that ever I look'd back In battle? Mexicans, the wife I loved, To faith and friendship trusted, in despite Of me, of heaven, he seized, and spurn'd her back Polluted —coward villain, and he lurks Behind his armies and his multitudes, And mocks my idle wrath!—It is not fit, It is not possible that I should live!— Live! and deserve to be the singer-mark Of slave-contempt!—His blood I cannot reach, But in my own all stains may be effaced; It shall blot out the marks of infamy, And when the warriors of the days to come Tell of Ximalpoca, it shall be said He died the brave man's death ! Not of the God Unworthy, do I seek his altar thus, A voluntary victim. And perchance The sacrifice of life may profit ye, My people, though all living efforts fail'd By fortune, not by fault. Cease your lament: And if your ill-doom'd King deserved your love, Say of him to your children, he was one Who bravely bore misfortune; who, when life Became dishonour, shook his body off, And joind the spirits of the heroes dead.
Yes! not in Miclanteuctii's dark abode
With cowards shall your King receive his doom :
Not in the icy caverns of the North
Suffer through endless ages! He shall join
The Spirits of the brave, with them at morn
Shall issue from the castern gate of Heaven,
And follow through his fields of light the Sun;
With them shall raise the song and weave the dance:
Sport in the stream of splendour; company
Down to the western palace of his rest
The Prince of Glory; and with equal eye
Endure his center'd radiance. Not of you
Forgetful, O my people, even then ;
But often in the amber cloud of noon
Diffused, will I o'erspread your summer fields,
And on the freshend maize and brightning meads
Spirits of my valiant Sires,
I come; Mexitli, never at thy shrine
Flow'd braver blood! never a nobler heart
Steam'd up to thee its life! Priest of the God,
Perform your office!
Fergusius 3 periit veneno abuxoredato. Alii scribunt cum utor **pe exprobrasset ei matrimonii contemptum et pellicum presses. neque quicquam profecisset, tandem noctudormientem ab ea stratgulatum. Quaestione de morte ejus habita. cum amicorum Plurimi insimularentur, nec quisquam ne in gravissimi, quidem torm” quicquam fateretur, mulier, alioqui ferox, tot innoxiorum capit" miserta, in medium processit ace superiore loco ceden a se facian confessn, ne ad ludibrium superesset, pectus cultro transfodit: quad ejus factum varie pro cujusque ingenio est acceptum, ac perinde setmonibus celebratum.—Buchanas.
Scene,—The Palace Court. The Queen speaking from the Battlements.
Cease—cease your torments' spare the sufferers! Scotchmen, not theirs the deed;—the crime was mine, Mine is the glory.
Idle threats! I stand Secure. All access to these battlements Is barr'd beyond your sudden strength to force; And lo! the dagger by which Fergus died Shame on ye, Scotchmen, that a woman's hand Was left to do this deed! Shame on ye, Thanes, Who with slave-patience have so long endured The wrongs, and insolence of tyranny! Ye coward race!—that not a husband's sword Smote that adulterous King! that not a wife Revenged her own pollution; in his blood Wash'd her soul pure, and for the sin compell'd Atoned by virtuous murder!—O my God! Of what beast matter hast thou moulded them To bear with wrongs like these? There was a time When if the Bard had feign'd you such a tale, Your eyes had throbb'd with anger, and your hands In honest instinct would have graspt the sword. O miserable men, who have disgraced Your fathers, whom your sons must blush to name! Aye, -ye can threaten me! ye can be brave In anger to a woman! one whose virtue Upbraids your coward vice; whose name will live Honour’d and praised in song, when not a hand
Shall root from your forgotten monuments
The cankering moss. Fools! fools! to think that death
Is not a thin; familiar to my mind! -
As if I knew not what must consummate
My glory! as if aught that earth can give
Could tempt me to endure the load of life!—
Scotchmen ye saw when Fergus to the altar
Led me, his maiden Queen. Ye blest me then,
I heard you bless me, and I thought that Heaven
Had heard you also, and that I was blest,
For I loved Fergus. Bear me witness, God!
With what a sacred heart-sincerity
My lips pronounced the unrecallable vow
That made me his, him mine; bear witness, Thou!
Before whose throne I this day must appear s
Stain'd with his blood and mine! my heart was his,
His in the strength of all its first affections.
In all obedience, in all love, I kept
Holy my marriage-vow. Behold me, Thanes!
Time hath not changed the face on which his eye
So often dwelt, when with assiduous care
He sought my love; with seeming truth, for one,
Sincere herself, impossible to doubt!
Time hath not changed that face;—I speak not now
With pride of beauties that will feed the worm
To-morrow! but with joyful pride I say,
That if the truest and most perfect love
Deserved requitai, such was ever mine.
Iłow often recking from the adulterous bed
Have I received him! and with no complaint.
Neglect and insult, cruelty and scorn,
Long, long did I endure, and long curb down
The indignant nature.
Tell your countrymen,
Scotchmen, what I have spoken say to them
Ye saw the Queen of Scotland lift the dagger
Red from her husband's heart; that in her own
She plungcd it.
Tell them also, that she felt
No guilty fear in death.
Scene, The House of Collutine.
Welcome, my father! good Valerius,
Welcome! and thou too, Brutus ye were both
My wedding guests, and sitly ye are come.
Aly husband—Collatine—alas! no more
Lucretia's husband, for thou shalt not clasp
Pollution to thy bosom, hear me on!
For I must tell thee all.
I sat at eve
Spinning amid my maidens as I wont,
When from the camp at Ardea Sextus came.
Curb down thy swelling feelings, Collatine!
I little liked the man! yet for he came
From Ardea, for he brought me news of thee,
I gladly gave him welcome; gladly listen'd,
Thou canst not tell how gladly! to his tales
Of battles, and the long and perilous siege;
And when I laid me down at night to sleep,
'T was with a lighten’d heart, I knew thee safe,
My visions were of thee.
Nay, hear me out! And be thou wise in vengeance, so thy wife Not vainly shall have suffer'd. I have wrought My soul up to the business of this hour, That it may stir your noble spirits, and prompt Such glorious deeds that ages yet unborn Shall bless my fate. At midnight I awoke, The Tarquin was beside me! O my husband! Where wert thou then gone was my rebel strength, All power of utterance gone! astonish'd, stunn'd, I saw the coward ruffian, heard him urge His damned suit, and bid me tamely yield,— Yield to dishonour. When he proffer'd death, Oh, I had leapt to meet the merciful sword! But that with most accursed vôws he vow'd That he would lay a dead slave by my side, Murdering my spotless honour—Collatine From what an anguish have I rescued thee! And thou, my father, wretched as thou art, Thou miserabic, childless, poor old man,— Think, father, what that agony had been Now thou mayst sorrow for me, thou mayst The memory of thy poor, polluted child. Look if it have not kindled Brutus' eye! Mysterious man at last I know thee now, I see thy dawning glorics!—to the grave Not unrevenged Lucretia shall descend; Not always shall her wretched country wear The Tarquins' yoke! we will deliver Rome, And I have comfort in this dreadful hour. Think'st thou, my husband, that I dreaded death O Collatine the weapon that had gored Miy bosom had been ease, been happiness, Elysium, to the hell of his liot grasp. Judge if Lucretia could have fear'd to die!
I have not ceased to love you, Household Gods !
In many a long and melancholy hour
Of solitude and sorrow, hath my heart
With earnest longiugs pray'd to rest at length
Beside your hallow'd hearth—for Peace is there'
Yes, I have loved you long! I call on you Yourselves to witness with what holy joy, Shunning the common herd of human kind, I have retired to watch your lonely fires And commune with myself. Delightful hours, That gave mysterious pleasure, made me know Mine inmost heart, its weakness and its strength, Taught me to cherish with devoutest care Its strange unworldly feelings, taught me too The best of lessons—to respect myself. Nor have I ever ceased to reverence you, Do Mesric Delries' from the first dawn of reason, through the adventurous paths of youth Even to this better day, when on mine ear The uproar of contending nations sounds Iłut like the passing wind, and wakes no pulse To tumult. When a child–(and still I love To dwell with fondness on my childish years.) when first a little one, I left my home, I can remember the first grief I felt, And the first painful smile that clothed my front with feelings not its own : sadly at night I sat me down beside a stranger's hearth; And when the lingering hour of rest was come, First wet with tears my pillow. As I grew In years and knowledge, and the course of Time Develop d the young feelings of my heart, When most I loved in solitude to rove Amid the woodland gloom; or where the rocks Darken'd old Avon's stream, in the ivied cave Recluse to sit and brood the future songYet not the less, PEN Ares, loved I then Your altars; not the less at evening hour Selighted by the well-trimm'd fire to sit, Absorbid in many a dear deceitful dream Of visionary joys : deceitful dreams, And yet not vain; for painting purest bliss, They form'd to Fancy's mould her votary's heart.
by Cherwell's sedgy side, and in the meals
Where Isis in her calm clear stream reflects
The willow's bending boughs, at early dawn,
In the noon-tide hour, and when the night-mist rose,
I have remember'd you; aud when the noise
Of lewd Intemperance on my lonely ear
łurst with loud tumult, as recluse I sate,
Pondering on lofties themes of man redeem'd
From servitude, and vice, and wretchedness,
1 blest you, Household Gods! because I loved
Your peaceful altars and serener rites.
Nor did I cease to reverence you, when driven
Amid the jarring crowd, an unfit man
to mingle with the world; still, still my heart
Sigh’d for your sauctuary, and inly pined;
And, loathing human converse, I have stray'd
Where o'er the sea-beach chilly howl'd the blast,
And gazed upon the world of waves, and wish'd
That I were far beyond the Atlantic deep,
In woodland haunts, a sojouruer with Pt. Ace.
| Not idly did the poets dream of old,
Who peopled earth with Deities. They trod
The wood with reverence where the Dayaps dwelt;
At day's dim dawn or evening's misty hour
They saw the OREADs on their mountain haunts,
And felt their holy influence; nor impure
Of thought, or ever with polluted hands'
Touch'd they without a prayer the NAIAD's sprint;
Yet was their insluence transient; such brief awe
Inspiring as the thunder's long loud peal
Strikes to the feeble spirit. Household Goos,
Not such your empire! in your votaries breasts
No momentary impulse ye awake;
Nor fleeting, like their local energies,
The deep devotion that your fanes impart.
O ye whom Youth has wilder'd on your way,
Or Vice with fair-mask'd foulness, or the lure
Of FAME that calls ye to her crowded path
With Folly's rattle, to your Household Gons
Return ; for not in Vice's gay abodes,
Not in the unquiet unsafe halls of Fame
Doth Happiness abide! O ye who weep
Much for the many miseries of Mankind,
More for their vices; ye whose honest eyes
Frown on Oppression,-ye whose honest hearts
Beat high when FREEdom sounds her dread alarm;
O ye who quit the path of peaceful life
As on the height of some huge eminence,
Reacid with long labour, the way-faring man
Pauses a while, and gazing o'er the plain
With many a sore step travell'd, turns him then
Serious to contemplate the onward road,
And calls to mind the comforts of his home,
And sighs that he has left them, and resolves
To stray no more : 1 on my way of life
Muse thus, PEN Ares, and with firmest faith
Devote myself to you. I will not quit,
To mingle with the crowd, your calm abodes,
Where by the evening hearth CoNTENT*ENT sits
And hears the cricket chirp; where Love delights
To dwell, and on your altars lays his torch
That burns with no extinguishable flame.