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TIME, Night. SCENE, The Woods.
WHERE shall I turn me? whither shall I bend
Thou coward wretch,
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 Grave, When the calm Mind collected in itself Surveys that narrow house: the ghastly train
That haunt the midnight of delirious Guilt
Why then this panting of the fearful heart?
up his members to the surgeon's knife,
If to die Were all, 'twere 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 endured 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, Care was my bosom inmate, Penury Gnaw'd at my heart. Eternal One, thou know'st How that poor heart, even in the bitter hour
Of lewdest revelry has inly yearn'd
My Father! I will call on thee, Pour to thy mercy-seat my carnest prayer, And wait thy righteous will, resign'd of soul. O thought 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 Want can no more Urge me to deeds of darkness, and at length Here I may rest. What though my hut be poorThe 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 ine, 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
like me her solitary song ;
II. 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 absent 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.
years thou journeyest; may the future road